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Ritchie Shoemaker Expert Testimony — Rejected Again by Another Judge

In a mold lawsuit, this summary of the medical testimony was reported:

At trial, the plaintiffs ...attempted to call Dr. Shoemaker as a treating physician to testify regarding causation of their alleged damages. The court found that Dr. Shoemaker's use of cholesterol medication had not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration, but rather was only permitted on an experimental basis. In addition, the court found that Dr. Shoemaker's "diagnosis of 'chronic biotoxin associated illness' due to mold exposure was not commonly accepted or recognized in the medical community as a distinct entity and treatment." Finding a lack of proper expert foundation for Dr. Shoemaker's opinions, the court barred his testimony entirely.

The jury returned a verdict in the amount of $760,000 for personal injuries and $20,000 in property damage to the plaintiffs. On post trial motions, the court set the $760,000 personal injury component of the verdict aside. The court left the $20,000 property damage award intact. The court held there was no testimony demonstrating a causal link between the alleged medical damages suffered and the mold exposure claimed in the case. The toxicologist's testimony failed to demonstrate the specific causal link required. Without this critical element, the plaintiffs' entire case failed to demonstrate causation and there was no causation evidence to support the personal injury verdict.

Appeal status is not known.

Source: Timothy R. Hughes, Esq., is the principal of the Northern Virginia law firm of Hughes & Associates

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