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One Court of Justice Blog

July 27, 2017

MSC invalidates post hoc causation reasoning

Through an order in Lowery v. Enbridge Energy Limited Partnership, No 151600, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the determination of the Court of Appeals and ordered summary disposition be entered in favor of the defendant, who was alleged to be liable for plaintiff's bodily injury caused by an oil spill.  The Court concluded that the plaintiff's expert's causation opinion was, essentially, that the plaintiff did not have problems before the spill, and that his health issues developed after the spill.  The Court found that this was fallacious post hoc reasoning and did not support a dispute of material fact on the required element of causation. Justice Markman, joined by Justices Zahra and Wilder, wrote an extensive concurring opinion detailing his view of the expert causation testimony necessary to sustain a toxic tort claim.   

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