In prescription medical product liability litigation, both sides invest a lot in their expert witnesses. In addition to spending time, money, and effort, we work out our legal theories with our experts, and share with them our views of the facts, both good facts and bad facts. Thus, when the other side inveigles one of ours to switch sides – usually with the promise of a lot more money for a lot more testimony – the result can be a lot of collateral litigation.
We’ve blogged a couple of times before about turncoat experts, so the recent decision in Hawkins v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 2023 WL 7292164 (D.D.C. Nov. 6, 2023), attracted our interest. Then we discovered that Hawkins was only the most recent of several decisions barring testimony by the same turncoat expert – one Stephen Li – due to his prior employment with the same defendant concerning product liability litigation involving the same product (and other similar products, as well). See also King v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 2023 WL 5624710 (D. Ariz. Aug. 31, 2023); Cannon v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 2023 WL 7477903 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 16, 2023); McCoy v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 2023 WL 4551081 (S.D. Cal. July 14, 2023); but see Winkelmeyer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., 2023 WL 2974480 (W.D. Mo. Apr. 17, 2023). We note that a couple of other decisions (both precluding Dr. Li from testifying) apparently exist, but because they are either oral or under seal, we have not seen and do not discuss them. The plaintiffs in those cases were named Sheehy and England.Continue Reading Wrecked on a Li Shore – The Saga of a Turncoat Expert