Downs v. Perstorp Components, Inc

In Downs v. Perstorp Components, Inc., 126 F.Supp.2d 1090 (E.D.Tenn.1999), Dr. Kilburn was the plaintiff's expert who concluded that the plaintiff had suffered severe brain damage as a result of a single exposure to a polyurethane polymer. 126 F.Supp.2d at 1093. The defense presented voluminous testimony from other experts that Dr. Kilburn's methods of testing the plaintiff for injury were novel and not generally accepted in the neuropsychological community. Id. at 1108-15. These competing experts concluded, based on their own tests, that the plaintiff had no neurological impairment that could have resulted from the chemical exposure. Id. Dr. Kilburn therefore did not follow a reliable method to ascertain the nature of the plaintiff's injury, and he had no reliable information with which to "rule in" chemical exposure as a potential cause. He was not able to say which component of the chemical product might have caused the injury, or point to any objective source suggesting that such an injury might result from exposure to any component of the chemical mixture at issue. Id. at 1098. Dr. Kilburn had access to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) sheets describing the components of the chemical, but he did not read them. Id. at 1108. And testimony from Dr. Kilburn had previously been excluded in at least six other toxic-tort cases. Id. at 1093.