Expert Testimony -- 2018

Bradford v. CITGO Petroleum   (Louisiana Supreme Court)

Necessity for expert testimony in toxic tort cases

A group of individuals sued CITGO Petroleum, alleging adverse health effects resulting from a release of oil and gas from CITGO's Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery in 2006. The plaintiffs did not offer expert testimony establishing the levels of their exposure to oil or gas from the release, or even that any exposure was possible given the time and location of their alleged exposures. Nevertheless, the presiding judge awarded each plaintiff damages because she found the plaintiffs' claims to be "very credible." CITGO appealed to the Louisiana Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial judge's findings. CITGO has now asked the Louisiana Supreme Court to grant discretionary review of the case.

The appeals court's unreasonably low legal standard for establishing liability risks imposing massive costs on manufacturers for alleged harms that lack any supporting scientific or other reliable evidence. The NAM's amicus brief explains the significant negative impacts of the appellate decision on manufacturers and provides strong legal arguments against such a lax liability standard. Unfortunately, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied review.

Related Documents:
NAM brief  (February 9, 2018)


© 2019 National Association of Manufacturers