Music Expert Testified For Marvin Gaye Family

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Music expert witness Judith Finell testified in the case brought by the children of Marvin Gaye against Alan Thicke and Pharrell Williams. In the copyright infringement case, Finell said the “hook,” bass line, melodic theme and some lyrics in Blurred Lines were very similar Gaye’s 1977 song Got to Give It Up.

A Los Angeles jury awarded Gaye’s family more than $7.3M.

Toyota Challenges Expert Witness Testimony

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Toyota Motor Co. has requested that U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery overturn the $10.9 awarded to Koua Fong Lee after a 2006 fatal crash. Toyota claims Lee and his family are not entitled to emotional damages since their distress after the fatal crash was not substantiated by medical testimony. Toyota also challenged expert witness testimony presented at the trial, saying, "The evidence clearly demonstrated that Mr. Lee’s 1996 Camry was well-designed and not the cause of this crash.”

Most recently, Toyota wants Koua Fong Lee to pay $4 million toward an $11 million judgment against the company. This follows the federal jury ruling that Toyota and Lee were both liable in the accident.

Pharmacology Expert Witnesses & NECC Charges

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What areas may the pharmacology expert witness consult on?  They are experts in toxicology, drug compounding, pharmacueticals, and more.  In the news, the head pharmacist and owner of the New England Compounding Center were indicted on 25 acts of second-degree murder in the death of patients. NECC owners and employees allegedly sold unsterile drugs which infected 751 patients in nine states. 

On November 1, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wrote:

Laboratory results from samples of two additional recalled NECC products – preservative free betamethasone and cardioplegia solution - have tested positive for bacterial contamination. FDA and CDC laboratories have identified bacteria present in three separate lots (batches) of NECC-supplied preservative-free betamethasone, with each lot producing different culture results, and in a single lot of NECC cardioplegia solution. These results and the finding of fungal contamination of methylprednisolone acetate reinforce the FDA’s concern about the lack of sterility in products produced at NECC’s compounding facility and serve to underscore that hospitals, clinics, and health care providers should not use any NECC-supplied products.

Gunshot Expert Witness Testifies In SC Case

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Retired South Carolina Law Enforcement Division employee Isa Simmons testified as an expert witness regarding gunshot residue in the murder case against Lorenzo Young and Trenton Barnes. Simmons says black gloves found in Young's closet tested positive for gunshot residue.  She testified that while gunshot residue it can be easily washed off someone's hands, it can remain on a surface longer than a year.

Gunshot residue, also known as cartridge discharge residue or firearm discharge residue, is usually a combination of gunpowder and lead residue which is deposited on the hands and clothes of someone who has fired a weapon. 

Oil and gas expert witnesses spoke before the St. Tammany Parish in Mandeville, LA, regarding a proposed fracking well.  The Department of Natural Resources organized the meeting to discuss the Helis Oil and Gas project. Mark Mitchell, a former oil field worker, accused Helis of not divulging all the facts and stated that fracking was not designed for new wells.

At the request of Congress, the EPA is conducting a study to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas on drinking water resources. The scope of the research includes the full lifespan of water in hydraulic fracturing. 

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office homicide investigator Troy Snelgrove testified in the DUI manslaughter trial of John Goodman, owner of the International Polo Club Palm Beach. The accident reconstruction expert witness described the scene of the fatal crash.  Goodman took the stand and said the braking system on his Bentley was not working properly and caused the accident.  He crashed into Scott Wilson’s Hyundai which sent Wilson into a canal.  Wilson died and Goodman left the scene of the accident. 

Psychiatry Expert Witness On Chantix

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Psychiatry expert witness Dr. Joseph Glenmullen and researcher Thomas Moore have called for the unsealing of thousands of Pfizer Inc. internal documents in the multidistrict litigation over Chantix.  Dr. Glenmullen has testified in state and federal cases regarding the side effects of psychiatric medications and is the author of two books on the side effects of antidepressants: Prozac Backlash and The Antidepressant Solution.  Both experts have written on how smoking cessation treatments such as Chantix are associated with a higher incidence of depression, suicide and violence toward other people. The U.S. Food & Drug Adminstration has a meeting scheduled for Oct. 16th regarding Chantix. 

Fda.gov has this information:

MEDICATION GUIDE CHANTIX

 

What is the most important information I should know about CHANTIX?

Some people have had serious side effects while using CHANTIX to help them quit smoking, including: New or worse mental health problems, such as changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Some people had these symptoms when they began taking CHANTIX, and others developed them after several weeks of treatment, or after stopping CHANTIX.  Before taking CHANTIX, tell your doctor if you have ever had depression or other mental health problems. You should also tell your doctor about any symptoms you had during other times you tried to quit smoking, with or without CHANTIX.  

Stop taking CHANTIX and call your doctor right away if you, your family, or caregiver notice agitation, hostility, depression or changes in your behavior or thinking that are not typical for you, or you develop any of the following symptoms:

o thoughts about suicide or dying, or attempts to commit suicide

o new or worse depression, anxiety, or panic attacks

o feeling very agitated or restless

o acting aggressive, being angry, or violent

o acting on dangerous impulses

o an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)

o abnormal thoughts or sensations

o seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations)

o feeling people are against you (paranoia)

o feeling confused

o other unusual changes in behavior or mood

 

When you try to quit smoking, with or without CHANTIX, you may have symptoms that may be due to nicotine withdrawal, including urge to smoke, depressed mood, trouble sleeping, irritability, frustration, anger, feeling anxious, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, decreased heart rate, and increased appetite or weight gain. Some people have even experienced suicidal thoughts when trying to quit smoking without medication. Sometimes quitting smoking can lead to worsening of mental health problems that you already have…

 Psychiatry Expert Witness On Chantix

Anesthesiology Expert Witness & Lethal Injections

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Anesthesiology expert witness Dr. Mark Dershwitz made the news by announcing that he will no longer testify on behalf of states defending their lethal injection methods. Dr. Dershwitz, Professor and Academic Vice-Chair at the University of Massachusetts, specializes in anesthesiology and pharmacology.  He has opined for the federal government as well as twenty two states regarding lethal injection protocol.  The July execution of convicted murderer Joseph R. Wood in Arizona with fifteen doses of lethal drugs has begun an official investigation of execution injections.

Bankruptcy Expert Witness On Detroit Plan

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Bankruptcy expert witness Martha Kopacz, senior managing director at Phoenix Management Services in Boston, reported to Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes that Detroit's plan to exit the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is workable. The bankruptcy case has been delayed until August 21, 2014.  In 2009 General Motors and  Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, closing facilities and cutting more than 20,000 jobs which continued the decline of The Motor City.

Previous municipal bankruptcies include Jefferson County, AL, Orange County, CA, Stockton, CA, and San Bernadino County, CA.

 

Patent Expert Witnesses

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What areas of law may patent expert witnesses consult on?  They are able to write reports and analyze patent infringement, patent validity, patent litigation, and more.  Recently the US Supreme court ruled that an abstract idea is not patentable just because it is tied to a computer system.  In Alice v. CLS Bank ruling, the court writes:

Petitioner Alice Corporation is the assignee of several patents that disclose a scheme for mitigating “settlement risk,” i.e., the risk that only one party to an agreed-upon financial exchange will satisfy its obligation. In particular, the patent claims are designed to facilitate the exchange of financial obligations between two parties by using a computer system as a third-party intermediary. The patents in suit claim (1) a method for exchanging financial obligations, (2) a computer system configured to carry out the method for exchanging obligations, and (3) a computer-readable medium containing program code for performing the method of exchanging obligations…

 

Held: Because the claims are drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea, they are not patent eligible under §101. Pp. 5–17.

 

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