Summary: Nutrition Expert Witness testimony allowed despite the defendants argument that he contradicted his own previous opinions that “ALL of the SAM-e manufactured by Vitamins Because was deficient.”
Facts: This case (Malgeri et al v. Vitamins Because LLC et al – United States District Court – Southern District of Florida – April 20th, 2022) involves a claim of mislabeling of a dietary supplement. The plaintiff, Noah Malgeri, alleges that he purchased S-Adenosyl Methionine (“SAM-e”) dietary supplements from the defendant, Vitamins Because, and that the suppliment contained significantly less amounts of SAM-e ingredient than what was represented on their labels. Malgeri hired Nutrition Expert Witness Dr. Douglas S. Kalman to provide expert witness testimony on his behalf. The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.
Discussion: The defendant claims that Dr. Kalman is not qualified to provide an expert witness opinion in this case. The court notes that instead of discussing why Dr. Kalman’s credentials and experience would disqualify him, the defendants focus on highlighting what he is not. In addition, the court also opines that the defendant ignores the fact that Dr. Kalman’s curriculum vitae shows that he is qualified to offer an opinion on nutrition matters, which includes the presence or absence of SAM-e in the defendant’s dietary supplements. The court states that Dr. Kalman has over 30 years in the field of nutrition and dietary supplements. In addition, the court states that Dr. Kalman has worked on more than 300 clinical trials, including studies related to food and dietary supplements, and has taken part in studies involving SAM-e. The court thus opines that Dr. Kalman is qualified to provide an expert witness opinion in this case.
The defendants also argue that Dr. Kalman’s expert opinions are not reliable as he contradicted his initial opinion that “ALL of the SAM-e manufactured by Vitamins Because was deficient.”. In addition, the defendants also put into question the size and origins of the samples that the plaintiffs tested. Also, they claim that Dr. Kalman ignored adverse data. The court opines that the former argument goes to the weight of the evidence, not the admissibility. The defendant also alleges that Dr. Kalman’s expert testimony should be excluded because he used randomized marketplace testing. The court disagrees, stating that the marketplace methodology that was applied is one commonly used in the field.
Also, the defendant claims that Dr. Kalman’s expert witness testimony should be excluded because his opinions are speculative, he did not apply statistics or mathematics, and he ignored data. The court disagrees, stating that Dr. Kalman developed his opinions based on the evidence in this case, which included scientific testing. In addition, the court states that Dr. Kalman relied on his experience in the field of nutrition to provide his opinion.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness opinion of Dr. Douglas S. Kalman is denied.