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Landmark Cases

Case Name: GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. v. JOINER et Ux

Date, Location, Cite: 1997 GA
522 U.S. 136, 118 S.Ct. 512
US SUPREME COURT

Joiner worked for GE in GA, had to put his arms in PCB chemicals. He was a smoker, got Small-cell Lung CA, sued GE in state court saying PCBs, 'furans, and 'dioxins' at work "promoted" his CA. GE took it to Federal Court, got summary judgment because Joiner

1)couldn't prove he had been exposed to furans & dioxins, and

2) his experts failed to show a link between exposure to PCBs and small cell CA.


11th Circuit Ct of Appeals reversed, saying Daubert (q.v.) forced the District Ct. to allow the expert to testify. The Supreme Ct. Reversed, said the District Ct. had the discretion to make such decisions - then reversed the decision that Joiner couldn't prove exposure to furans & dioxins.
This is an interesting insight into the minds of the various Courts - I'm not sure what a psychiatrist would do differently just by knowing this, except to perhaps assist an attorney if he/she wanted such help.