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Daubert Exclusion of Toxic Tort Causation Evidence, Plus Banking and Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on May 24, 2010 3:37 PM

In US v. Parish, No. 08-3421, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for knowingly and intentionally possessing with the intent to distribute a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base and one count of knowingly possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, on the grounds that 1) it appeared from a review of the record that defendant was able to present to the jury all the evidence supporting his claimed beating and his contention of planted evidence for whatever purposes he desired to make of it; 2) the jury heard the evidence defendant wished to elicit from the officers who allegedly beat defendant, and thus any error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt; 3) because the only purpose of the arranged meeting at issue was for defendant to distribute drugs, the police had probable cause to believe that evidence relevant to the drug crime would be found in the vehicle; 4) the government presented sufficient evidence to establish that defendant's possession of a loaded firearm was in furtherance of the underlying drug crime; and 5) there was no evidence that the district court committed procedural error by treating the advisory Guidelines as mandatory.

Mitec Ptnrs., LLC v. U.S. Bank Nat'l. Assn., No. 09-1706, involved an action alleging fraud and negligent misrepresentation based on defendant's failure to disclose a lienholder agreement with the Small Business Administration before selling certain loans to plaintiff.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the grounds that 1) plaintiff presented no evidence that defendant's implied representation, not apparent from the face of the letter of intent, was false when made, much less knowingly false; 2) plaintiff's alleged reliance on defendant's representations was not justified; and 3) the alleged misrepresentation concerned information incidental to the underlying financial transaction.

In US v. Furqueron, No. 09-2277, the Second Circuit vacated defendant's firearm possession sentence, on the ground that defendant's conviction for escape from a penal institution, in violation of Minnesota Statutes sections 609.485 subdivisions 2(1) and 4(1), constituted a crime of violence for purposes of the Sentencing Guidelines.

Barrett v. Rhodia, Inc., No. 09-3115, involved an action alleging that plaintiff suffered permanent injury while working with a chemical manufactured by defendant.  The court of appeals affirmed summary judgment for defendant, on the ground that the district court did not err in excluding plaintiff's expert witnesses because they were not qualified to testify about the source and concentration of plaintiff's hydrogen sulfide exposure.

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