SQM North America Corporation v. City of Pomona
Whether, as the Ninth Circuit held, in open and admitted conflict with other courts of appeals, a district court may exclude expert testimony as unreliable only when it is based on a “faulty methodology or theory,” or whether, as the Third Circuit and other circuits have held, “any step that rendersthe analysis unreliable renders the expert’s testimony inadmissible.”
U.S. Chamber files amicus brief
brief, the Chamber asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision, in which, the brief argues the panel improperly reversed the district court for “kicking the factual tires” of the expert’s opinion, wrongly admonishing the lower court to delegate its Daubert role to the jury. Specifically, the court held that the district court abused its discretion in assessing the sufficiency of Respondent’s expert’s database of potential sources of perchlorate, upon which the expert based his opinion of the actual source of perchlorate in Pomona’s water system. The brief points out that the Ninth Circuit’s flawed approach to expert testimony contravenes prior rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and also demonstrates a very sharp division amongst circuit courts. The issue is of exceptional importance regarding the trial court’s responsibility to screen factually unfounded expert testimony that can cover a vast array of areas. The Court should review this case in order to send a strong message to the lower courts that they must pay attention to their responsibilities under Daubert.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed the brief jointly with the American Coatings Association, the Fertilizer Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Eric G. Lasker of
Hollingsworth LLP served as co-counsel to the amici with the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.