Railroad employee's negligence suit for his work-related injuries
Myers v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co., 10-1279, concerned an employee's suit against the Illinois Central Railroad Company claiming that his injuries were caused by its negligence. In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Railroad, the court held that, because the nature of the trauma injuries that the employee accumulated required expert testimony establishing specific causation, and because the employee offered none, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment for the Railroad.
As the court wrote: "But here it's clear that the physicians did not use
a differential etiology; they knew little to nothing about Myer's
medical history or his work. They did not "rule in" any potential
causes or "rule out" any potential causes. They simply treated Myers
and assumed his injuries stemmed from his work. In other words, the
basis for their opinions is properly characterized as a hunch or an
informed guess. And "the courtroom is not the place for scientific
guesswork, even of the inspired sort.""