Industrial Medicine Expert Witness Testimony Not Allowed in Mold Exposure Case.

Summary:  Industrial Medicine Expert Witness testimony not allowed even though the plaintiff’s claim that her conclusions are supported by the facts.

Facts:  This case (Hill v. The GEO Group – United States District Court – Western District of Louisiana – December 21st, 2021) involves a negligence claim against the defendants regarding workplace conditions, specifically exposure to mold. The plaintiffs claims that the facility in which they worked had a long history of flooding and that condensation from the air conditioner would drip on their heads.  The plaintiffs assert that exposure to mold caused numerous medical conditions such as headaches, sore throats, and fatigue. To prove their case, the plaintiffs have hired Industrial Medicine Expert Witness Dr. Stephanie Cave to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendants has filed a motion to exclude Dr. Cave’s testimony.

Discussion:  Dr. Cave opined that the plaintiff’s illnesses were caused by their long term exposure to the mold that was found at the facility in which they worked.  She also notes that her conclusion is supported by the fact that so many employees at the facility during the time of the plaintiffs became ill.  The defendants argue that several parts of her report are unreliable, including her inability to establish relevant mold counts and her improper methodology in creating diagnosis of the plaintiffs.

The court concludes that Dr. Cave’s opinions should be excluded because they not supported by scientific facts and that she did not apply a reliable diagnostic methodology.  The court goes on to state that her use of two physical tests to prove causation are misplaced and misapplied.  The court goes on to state that it has doubts as to the urine tests and the reliability of how they were employed by Dr. Cave in reaching her opinion.  In addition, the court opines that the plaintiff did not provide to the court with any scientific support that the urine tests were reliable to detect for mold.

Also, the court concluded that Dr. Cave’s opinions that the injuries to the plaintiffs were caused by exposure to mold are not supported by any evidence.  The court thus concludes that the gap between the data and the opinion put forth by Dr. Cave is too great and thus, the expert opinions should be excluded.

Conclusion:  The expert witness testimony of Dr. Stephanie Cave is not allowed.