Neuropsychiatric/Cardiovascular Toxicity Causation Post-Daubert

Doe v. Doe, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The plaintiff alleged neuropsychiatric and cardiovascular toxicity secondary to worksite exposure to a pesticide. He introduced a physician and a toxicologist as his experts. Neither examined the plaintiff. Dr. Bursztajn, a psychiatrist and medical decision analyst, was retained by the defense to perform a court ordered forensic neuropsychiatric examination. He did not find any signs or symptoms consistent with neurotoxicity. He also found such cardiac impairment as existed to be most likely related to a non-work related causation, and a likelihood that the plaintiff was misattributing his symptoms, as well as significant secondary gain in the plaintiff's motivation. Subsequently, on voir dire, each of the plaintiff's experts was disqualified. As per Daubert, the judge in his written opinion focused on each of the plaintiff's experts' lack of the methodological reliability and relevance. He specifically criticized the lack of references and reasoning in the plaintiff's experts' reported opinions.