Clinton San Francisco and Jessie San Francisco v. Wendy’s International, Inc.

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This is an appeal by the plaintiffs below, who filed a lawsuit for injuries allegedly caused by eating an uncooked hamburger prepared by the defendant. The Circuit Court of Kanawha County granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, after concluding that testimony about causation offered by two plaintiff's experts would not be admissible, and therefore the case could not proceed to a jury trial. On appeal, plaintiffs contend that the circuit court was unduly restrictive in exercising its gatekeeper function under Rule 702 of the Rules of Evidence. In response, the defendant argues that the trial court properly concluded that one expert was not qualified to testify about the cause of food borne illness, and that another expert's theory was not based upon reliable science. (Clinton and Jessie San Francisco are represented by Guy R. Bucci and D. Blake Carter, Jr., Bucci, Bailey & Javins, Charleston WV and Pamela Lambert, Gilbert WV. Wendy's International is represented by Teresa A. Kleeh and Scott E. Johnson, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Charleston WV.)