Legal Memorandum: Summary Judgment for Medical Causations

Issue: When is summary judgment granted on the issue of medical causation?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Summary judgment; Medical causation
Jurisdiction: Nebraska
Cited Cases: 259 F.3d 924; 174 F.3d 661; 165 F.3d 778
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2007

In Boren v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Co., 10 Neb. App. 766, 637 N.W.2d 910 (2002), the plaintiff sought to recover damages for injuries arising from exposure to chemicals.  The Boren plaintiff “had no specific evidence concerning dosage levels,” and only “presented general testimony” regarding his exposure.  10 Neb. at 799, 637 N.W.2d at 922.  In affirming a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the court reasoned:

Although Burlington cites this court to a number of federal cases that have held, on their particular facts and records, that expert opinions were inadequate without specific evidence of levels or doses of exposure, we find them unpersuasive in the instant case.  See, Curtis v. M & S Petroleum, Inc., 174 F.3d 661 (5th Cir. 1999); Mitchell v. Gencorp, Inc., 165 F.3d 778 (10th Cir. 1999) (concerning need for quantifiable evidence of levels of exposure); Savage v. Union Pacific R. Co., 67 F. Supp. 2d 1021 (E.D. Ark. 1999).  In the present case, there was specific evidence presented that an opinion of causation is not dependent on having evidence of specific levels of exposure.  Boren did not need to produce a mathematically precise table equating levels of exposure with levels of harm in order to show that he was exposed to a toxic level of the various chemicals.  See Bonner v. ISP Technologies, Inc., 259 F.3d 924 (8th Cir. 2001).  Rather, he needed only to present evidence from which […]


Subscribe to Litigation Pathfinder

To get the full-text of this Legal Memorandum ... and more!

(Month-to-month and annual subscriptions available)