Hardeman v. Monsanto Company et al
PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 104: SCOPE OF DR. ARBER'S TESTIMONY. Signed by Judge Vince Chhabria on March 7, 2019. (vclc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/7/2019)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
IN RE: ROUNDUP PRODUCTS
This document relates to:
Hardeman v. Monsanto, 3:16-cv-00525-VC
MDL No. 2741
Case No. 16-md-02741-VC
PRETRIAL ORDER NO. 104:
SCOPE OF DR. ARBER’S TESTIMONY
Dkt. No. 2934
Dr. Weisenburger’s testimony did not open the door to a discussion of Mr. Hardeman’s
rate of BCL6 rearrangement. Dr. Weisenburger offered an opinion that Mr. Hardeman’s antiviral
treatment eliminated any gene rearrangements that might have been caused by hepatitis C. That
opinion only opens the door to a discussion of BCL6 if NHL caused by hepatitis C is uniquely
associated with BCL6 rearrangements. The papers Monsanto cites establish only that hepatitis C,
like numerous other risk factors, is capable of causing BCL6 mutations – not that it is uniquely
capable of doing so. Because Dr. Arber asserted in his reports that nothing about Mr. Hardeman’s
disease “suggest[s] a specific cause,” he cannot now connect Mr. Hardeman’s pathology results
to hepatitis C. If Dr. Arber were to testify that Mr. Hardeman’s genetic abnormalities suggest a
history of hepatitis C infection, there is an undue risk (and a very strong one) that the jury would
connect those abnormalities to NHL. This testimony is thus inadmissible both under Rule 403
and because it would be contrary to Dr. Arber’s reports.
Of course, Dr. Arber is free to dispute Dr. Weisenburger’s testimony that any genetic
abnormalities from hepatitis C would have disappeared after Mr. Hardeman’s treatment. If Dr.
Arber has a study showing that abnormal cells do not die off once a virus has been cleared, he can
use that to rebut Dr. Weisenburger’s discussion of the Zuckerman article. And, in line with his
report, Dr. Arber can explain that Mr. Hardeman’s lengthy exposure to hepatitis C left him at risk
of developing NHL even after the virus had been successfully treated. But, because it would be
inconsistent with his reports and because it would not properly rebut anything that Dr.
Weisenburger stated in his testimony, Dr. Arber cannot point to the presence of BCL6
rearrangements to suggest that Mr. Hardeman has lingering genetic damage from hepatitis C.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Date: March 7, 2019
Honorable Vince Chhabria
United States District Court
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?