This post is from the non-Reed Smith side of the blog.
Defendants in Pizzitola v. Ethicon, Inc., filed motions to exclude two of plaintiff’s experts and both decisions (two orders issued) heavily favored the defense, rejecting recurrent design defect arguments by plaintiffs.
The product at issue is synthetic pelvic mesh. Plaintiff’s first challenged expert was a gynecologic surgeon. While is area of practice may overlap with issues in the case, his report went well beyond both relevant issues and his area of expertise. Namely, plaintiff’s expert wanted to opine that lots of things were alternative designs that in fact were not. Starting with a different medical procedure altogether. “It is not an alternative design of any product. In fact, it is not a product at all.” Pizzitola I, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184352, *6 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 7, 2022). Plaintiff argued the testimony was relevant to a risk/utility analysis but showing that a different medical procedure may be safer, “does not affect whether a product has utility and/or risks.” Id. at *7. The decision to perform a different medical procedure lies within the medical judgment of the treating surgeon and has no bearing on the design of the device at issue. Id.