Expert Article Library
Determining Data Requires a Solid Scientific Foundation
Case Name: Rink et al. v. Cheminova, Inc. (http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200410160.pdf)
Court: US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, on appeal from the
Date: February 24, 2005
Expert: Chemical Engineering. Dr. Jack Matson, PhD (Plaintiff).
Issues: Exposure to an allegedly defective pesticide from aerial spraying
Summary of case: The pesticide Malathion (brand name Fyfanon) was sprayed over
Role of the expert: The malathion was shipped from
Expert analysis: Plaintiff alleges the district court erred in excluding their experts testimony, because it was based upon the experts general personal credibility. The Eleventh Circuit disagreed, affirming the trial courts decision that the experts methodology did not meet the Daubert standard. The expert had no experience with malathion prior to being retained as expert, and had visited only one storage site and measured the upper limit temperature, but did not visit the other storage sites to take into account differences in the way the chemical may have been stored or how long they may have been stored. Expert determined that atmospheric conditions at each storage facility were similar and therefore concluded chemical decomposition must have occurred at each facility. The methods the expert used in transferring temperature data from Texas to Florida and in finding the temperature difference between the stored liquid and the air was not based upon tested, peer reviewed or generally accepted methods.
Summary prepared by J. Price, Student,