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Court grants Firm client Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s motion to exclude testimony of plaintiff’s specific-causation expert in case pending in New Jersey Aredia® and Zometa® Mass Tort action.

news | April 12, 2010

On April 1, 2010, Judge Jessica Mayer, Mass Tort Judge for the New Jersey Superior Court in Middlesex County, granted firm client Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation’s motion to exclude the testimony of plaintiff’s case-specific expert Dr. Joseph Cillo. Click here to view the Order. Plaintiff did not oppose the motion. Walsh was one of two cases from which the first trial was to have been selected in the New Jersey Mass Tort for Aredia® and Zometa®. Novartis moved to exclude the specific-causation testimony of Dr. Cillo under New Jersey’s Kemp standard because he did not use a reliable scientific methodology to develop his opinion that Walsh’s use of Zometa® caused her to develop what he termed “Bisphosphonate Induced Osteonecrosis of the Jaw” and because his opinion was not supported by the record. Dr. Cillo purported to have performed a differential diagnosis in forming his opinion. He failed, however, to reliably rule in or rule out significant potential alternative causes of Walsh’s jaw problems. He also conceded at his deposition that Walsh’s dental condition did not meet his definition of “Bisphosphonate Induced Osteonecrosis of the Jaw” because her records did not document greater than eight weeks of exposed bone. The Court’s Order excluding Dr. Cillo’s testimony stated “Having reviewed the above motion, I find it to be meritorious on its face and is unopposed. Pursuant to R. 1:6-2, it therefore will be granted essentially for the reasons set forth in the moving papers.”