Differential Diagnosis — Trending Toward Exclusion

Law360, New York (November 4, 2009, 2:02 PM EST) -- The recent decisions of Perry v. Novartis[1] and Zandi v. Wyeth[2] signify a trend toward courts excluding unreliable expert witness testimony based on differential diagnosis in toxic tort cases.

Each of these courts concluded that, although differential diagnosis can be a generally accepted method for determining causation, the proffered expert witnesses improperly and unreliably applied the methodology in these cases by failing to account for unknown causes of the plaintiffs' alleged injuries.

Introduction and Background

Differential diagnosis (more accurately “differential etiology”)[3] is a two-step process whereby...
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