Expert Testimony That Coal Tar Could Have Caused Neuroblastomas
In Donaldson v. Central Illinois Public Service Co., 313 Ill. App. 3d 1061, 730 N.E.2d 68, 246 Ill. Dec. 388 (Ill. 5th App. Ct. 2000), the court found that experts' opinions that coal tar could have caused neuroblastomas were admissible under Frye.
The plaintiffs' experts argued that while they could not specifically link neuroblastoma to the carcinogens involved, they were able to point to numerous studies directly linking those same carcinogens to other forms of cancer.
"Extrapolating from these studies, the experts conclude that, logically, the carcinogens could have caused the neuroblastomas at issue in this case." Id. at 78.
The court acknowledged that the extrapolation opinions were obviously not strong opinions, but the opinions went to weight, not admissibility.