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In re Avandia Mktg.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

January 3, 2011, Decided; January 4, 2011, Filed

AVANDIA MDL 1871; 2007-MD-1871



Rufe, J.

Presently before the Court are GlaxoSmithKline LLC's (GSK's) Motions to Exclude the Testimony of Plaintiff Steering Committee's Expert Witnesses Eliot A. Brinton, M.D., 1 Nicholas P. Jewell, Ph.D., 2 and Allan D. Sniderman, M.D., 3 Plaintiffs' responses thereto, and GSK's replies. The Court has reviewed each expert's report and held a Daubert hearing to hear argument and testimony regarding the admissibility of the expert testimony on September 20 -22, 2010. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will deny the motions to exclude the testimony of Drs. Brinton, Sniderman, and Jewell.

Factual Background

Plaintiff intends to offer Drs. Brinton, Jewell and Sniderman, among other experts, as generic expert witnesses for civil actions in MDL No. 1871. Their testimony will cover  [*2] the alleged health risks involved in taking the drug Avandia, which is manufactured by GSK. GSK challenges the admissibility of this evidence, asserting that the experts used unreliable methods to reach their conclusions that Avandia may cause myocardial infarction in diabetic patients taking it to control their blood sugar.

Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Evidence 702 reads:

[I]f scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient fact or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts.

] The Third Circuit has distilled this rule to two essential inquiries: 1) is the proffered expert qualified to express an expert opinion; and 2) is the expert opinion reliable? 4 In this case, GSK primarily challenges the reliability of the opinions.

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2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 479 *


Subsequent History: Motion denied by, Motion granted by In re Avandia Mktg., Sales Practices & Prods. Liab. Litig., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3961 (E.D. Pa., Jan. 11, 2011)

Prior History: Russell v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. (In re Avandia Mktg.), 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126450 (E.D. Pa., Nov. 12, 2010)


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Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Daubert Standard, Torts, Products Liability, General Overview