Muzzey v. Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp.

Full Case File

511 (N.D. IL 1996)

Defendant Kerr McGee sought to bar testimony from plaintiff’s experts which opined that plaintiff’s sickness (polycythemia vera) was caused by a by-product from defendant’s industrial facility, the West Chicago Rare Earth Facility, whereby they refined monazite ore in order to remove thorium from it. The by-product of the refining process was a sand-like material called tailings which retained some thorium and which were dumped in Reed-Keppler Park in West Chicago.

While living in West Chicago Muzzey played in the park where the tailings were buried. District Judge Bucklo granted defendant’s motion to bar plaintiff’s expert testimony finding that plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that its proffered doctor’s opinions were grounded in the scientific method. The court therefore found that their testimony was not admissible under Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and Daubert.