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Young v. Burton

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


September 8, 2008

DENICOLE YOUNG, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILLIAM F. BURTON, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ellen Segal Huvelle United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Defendants have moved for summary judgment on the grounds that this Court's decision granting their Daubert motion means that plaintiffs cannot establish that their injuries were caused by alleged exposure to mold while they lived at Stanton Glen Apartments for 34 days. See Young v. Burton, No. 07cv0983, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57446 (D.D.C. July 22, 2008). Plaintiffs attempt to avert this result by relying on statements by defendants' medical expert, Dr. S. Michael Phillips. See Pls.' Opp'n, Ex. 1. While the statements referenced by plaintiffs indicate that Dr. Phillips is of the opinion that each plaintiff suffered a short-term irritant response while living at the Stanton Glen Apartments, his statements cannot be stretched to satisfy plaintiffs' burden of proof as to causation. A careful reading of Dr. Phillips' statements indicates that the only symptom that could be cited as substantiation for plaintiffs' claim of harm due to exposure to mold is a "minor transient possible irritant reaction." Pls.' Opp'n, Ex. 1 at 18. But that recognition does not constitute an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the minor transient irritant reaction, or any other symptom for that matter, was caused by exposure to mold. Without such a medical opinion, plaintiffs' legal claims cannot survive.*fn1

Accordingly, defendant' motion [#30] is granted, and plaintiffs' complaint is dismissed with prejudice. A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.


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