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Jones v. Lincoln Electric Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
188 F.3d 709 (7th Cir. 1999)


Facts

Jones (plaintiff) sued welding rod manufacturers and distributors (defendants), claiming he suffered brain damage from exposure to manganese released by the rods. The defendants’ expert, Dr. Eager, testified about his joint research with Professors Brain and Ulrich on welding fumes’ toxicity on animal lungs. Jones presented evidence that Eager was not a toxicologist or physiology expert, and the research on welding fumes’ effects on lungs was not relevant to neurological damage. However, only Jones’s expert testified he suffered from manganism; other doctors diagnosed him with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. The jury found for the defendants. Jones moved for relief from the verdict based on newly discovered evidence that Eager testified falsely, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 60(b)(2). Jones claimed: (1) in a later deposition, Brain said he never conducted “joint research” with Eager; (2) Eager “materially mischaracterized” research findings; and (3) the study looked at lung cancer deaths, not neurological impacts. The district court determined Eager had not “materially mischaracterized” his involvement in the research; rather, Brain subjectively believed greater participation was required for “joint research.” The district court concluded Brain had different opinions about the results, but that did not mean Eager’s testimony was false. The district court refused to grant relief under FRCP 60(b)(2) related to the study, because Jones was aware of the study during trial. Because the district court did not believe a new trial without Eager’s testimony would yield a different result, it denied Jones’ motion. Jones appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kanne, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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