No evidence of injury in FELA case — flip side to long-running Daubert debate

The Fifth Circuit has had a  about the application of Daubert, and its effect on the roles of judge and jury.  In Huffman v. Union Pacific Railroad, the Court moved to the other end of the technical spectrum, and analyzed the sufficiency of evidence in a FELA case about a former railway worker’s alleged on-the-job injuries.  No. 09-40736 (March 13, 2012)  After thorough analysis of the worker’s allegations, the Court held that expert testimony on causation was not necessary to support a jury finding for the worker, but found that the worker had not presented enough evidence about the type of injury to satisfy even that standard.  Op. at 21-22.   Judge Southwick wrote for the majority, joined by Judge Owen, and Judge Dennis dissented.  The case analyzes FELA precedent but is of substantially broader interest on general causation issues.  The Court also briefly analyzed and rejected a judicial estoppel argument.  Op. at 7-8.

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