Pharmacology Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Wrongful Distribution of Medicine Claim

Summary: Pharmacology Expert Witness allowed in case claiming wrongful distribution of medication even though his report was produced from the facts in the case.

Facts:  This case (Mason v. CVS Health – United States District Court – Southern District of Ohio – May 3rd, 2019) involves a products liability and negligence claim.  The plaintiff’s claims come from the alleged wrongful distribution of prescription medication to the plaintiff.  The defendant has filed for summary judgment on all of the plaintiff’s claims.  As part of the summary judgment motion, the defendant has moved to exclude Patrick J. McDonnell, the Pharmacology Expert Witness hired by the plaintiffs.

Discussion:  The plaintiff has hired Dr. McDonnell to support her contentions that the Amitriptyline HCL tablets were the cause of the injuries listed in the complaint.  Dr. McDonnell is a Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Practice at Temple University and specializes in adverse drug reactions, drug induced disease, and medication safety.  Dr. McDonnell’s report was produced from the facts of the case and medical records.  These materials, along with his professional experience and facts of the case, were used to form his opinions.

The defendant alleges that the reason the plaintiff cannot establish her case is because she did not offer competent expert testimony to prove causation.  The court opines that the defendant’s arguments are not well taken.

The defendant states that Dr. McDonnell does not have the requisite qualifications to render an expert opinion on whether the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by her ingestion of Amitriptyline HCL tablets because Dr. McDonnell states that he will let the physician experts opine on whether the medication caused “more permanent and sustained harm.”  The court again states that this argument is again not well taken.

The court opines that that Dr. McDonnell relegates to other medical professionals whether the ingestion of medication continued to have an effect of the plaintiff’s pulmonary health does not contravene his conclusions.   In addition, the court opines that this argument goes to the weight of Dr. McDonnell’s testimony, not the admissibility and is properly addressed through cross-examination.

Thus, the court opines that the defendant has failed to meet its burden in demonstrating that Dr. McDonnell is not qualified to render an expert opinion in this matter.

Conclusion:  Defendant’s motion for Summary Judgment on the plaintiff’s negligence claim is denied.