193 F.3d 613 (3rd Cir. 1999), 96-7623/7624/7625, In re In re TMI Litigation

Docket Nº:96-7623/7624/7625
Citation:193 F.3d 613
Party Name:IN RE: TMI LITIGATION LORI DOLAN; JOSEPH GAUGHAN; RONALD WARD; ESTATE OF PEARL HICKERNELL; KENNETH PUTT; ESTATE OF ETHELDA HILT; PAULA OBERCASH; JOLENE PETERSON; ESTATE OF GARY VILLELLA; ESTATE OF LEO BEAM, APPELLANTS NO. 96-7623 IN RE: TMI LITIGATION ALL PLAINTIFFS EXCEPT LORI DOLAN, JOSEPH GAUGHAN, RONALD WARD, ESTATE OF PEARL HICKERNELL, KENNETH
Case Date:November 02, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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193 F.3d 613 (3rd Cir. 1999)

IN RE: TMI LITIGATION

LORI DOLAN; JOSEPH GAUGHAN; RONALD WARD; ESTATE OF PEARL HICKERNELL; KENNETH PUTT; ESTATE OF ETHELDA HILT; PAULA OBERCASH; JOLENE PETERSON; ESTATE OF GARY VILLELLA; ESTATE OF LEO BEAM, APPELLANTS NO. 96-7623

IN RE: TMI LITIGATION

ALL PLAINTIFFS EXCEPT LORI DOLAN, JOSEPH GAUGHAN, RONALD WARD, ESTATE OF PEARL HICKERNELL, KENNETH PUTT, ESTATE OF ETHELDA HILT, PAULA OBERCASH, JOLENE PETERSON, ESTATE OF GARY VILLELLA AND ESTATE OF LEO BEAM, APPELLANTS NO. 96-7624

IN RE: TMI LITIGATION

ALL PLAINTIFFS; ARNOLD LEVIN; LAURENCE BERMAN; LEE SWARTZ APPELLANTS NO. 96-7625

Nos. 96-7623/7624/7625

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

November 2, 1999

ARGUED: June 27, 1997

ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA (Civil No. 88-cv-01452) (District Judge: Honorable Sylvia H. Rambo)

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Arnold Levin, Esq. Laurence S. Berman, Esq. (Argued) Craig D. Ginsburg, Esq. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman 510 Walnut Street, Suite 500 Philadelphia, PA 19106

Lee C. Swartz, Esq. Hepford, Swartz & Morgan 111 North Front Street P.O. Box 889 Harrisburg, PA 17108 Attorneys for Appellants in No. 96-7623/7624/7625

Lou Tarasi, Esq. Tarasi & Johnson, P.C. 510 Third Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15129 Of Counsel for Certain Appellants Identified in the Entry of Appearance in Appeal No. 96-7624/7625

Stephen A. Saltzburg, Esq. (Argued) Howrey Professor of Trial Advocacy, Litigation and Professional Responsibility George Washington Law School 720 20th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052 Of Counsel for Appellants in No. 96-7623/7624/7625

Daniel J. Capra, Esq. Reed Professor of Law Fordham University School of Law Lincoln Center 140 West 62nd Street New York, NY 10023 Of Counsel for Certain Appellants Identified in the Entry of Appearance in Appeal No. 96-7625

A.H. Wilcox, Esq. (Argued) Ellen K. Scott, Esq. (Argued) Eric J. Rothschild, Esq. (Argued) Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, Llp 3000 Two Logan Square 18th and Arch Streets Philadelphia, PA 19103 Lewis S. Kunkel, Jr., Esq. Thomas B. Schmidt, III, Esq. Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz Llp 200 One Keystone Plaza North Front & Market Streets P.O. Box 1181 Harrisburg, PA 17108 Attorneys for Appellees in Nos. 96-7623/7624/7625

Reuben A. Guttman, Esq. Provost & Umphrey 1350 New York Avenue, N.W. Suite 1040 Washington, D.C. 20005

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Ned Miltenberg, Esq. Associate General Counsel Association of Trial Lawyers of America ("atla") 1050 31st Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007 Amicus Curiae, Association of Trial Lawyers of America ("atla"), in Support of Appellants

Before: Greenberg and McKEE, Circuit Judges, and Greenaway, District Judge[*]

TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION ......................................................... 622 II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY ................................................... 623 III. SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND ................................................ 629 A. Overview of Relevant Principles of Nuclear Physics .............. 629 1. Atomic and Nuclear Structure ............................... 629 2. Radioactivity .............................................. 632 3. Ionizing Radiation ......................................... 634 4. Radiation Quantities and Units ............................. 636 5. Health Effects of Ionizing Radiation ....................... 638 i. Deterministic Effects ................................ 640 ii. Stochastic Effects ................................... 642 6. Radiation in the Environment ............................... 644 i. Natural Radiation .................................... 644 ii. Man-made Radiation ................................... 647 IV. NUCLEAR ENGINEERING .................................................. 648 A. Nuclear Reaction ................................................ 648 B. The Operation of Nuclear Power Plant ............................ 651 C. Barriers to Release of Radioactive Materials into the Environment 655 V. THE ACCIDENT AND ITS AFTERMATH ....................................... 655 A. The Accident at TMI"2 ........................................... 655 B. Radioactive Materials Released to the Environment ............... 657 C. Pathways of Exposure to Radioactive Materials ................... 658 VI. LEGAL DISCUSSION ..................................................... 659 A. The Trial Plaintiffs' Appeal .................................... 659 1. Background ................................................. 659 2. Standards Governing the Admissibility of Scientific Evidence 662 3. Trial Plaintiffs' Dose Exposure Expert Witnesses ........... 666 i. Ignaz Vergeiner ...................................... 666 a. Qualifications .................................... 666 b. Vergeiner's Opinion ............................... 667 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 667 ii. Charles Armentrout and Victor Neuwirth ............... 672 a. Qualifications .................................... 672 b. Armentrout's Observations and Experiences ......... 672 c. Discussion and Conclusion ......................... 673 d. Neuwirth's Soil Sample Analyses and Armentrout's Dose Estimates .................................. 674 e. Discussion and Conclusion ......................... 675 iii. James Gunckel ........................................ 677 a. Qualifications .................................... 677 b. Gunckel's Opinion ................................. 678 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 680 iv. Vladimir Shevchenko .................................. 683 a. Qualifications .................................... 683 b. Shevchenko's Tree Study ........................... 684 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 686 d. The Cytogenetic Analysis .......................... 688 e. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 690 v. Gennady Kozubov ...................................... 693 a. Qualifications .................................... 693 b. Kozubov's Opinion ................................. 693 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 694 vi. Olga Tarasenko ....................................... 695 a. Qualifications .................................... 695 b. Tarasenko's Opinion ............................... 695 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 697 vii. Bruce Molholt ........................................ 698 a. Qualifications .................................... 698 b. Molholt's Opinions ................................ 699 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 701 viii. Sigmund Zakrzewski ................................... 704 a. Qualifications .................................... 704 b. Zakrzewski's Opinion .............................. 704 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 705 ix. Theodor Sterling ..................................... 706 a. Qualifications .................................... 706 b. Sterling's Opinion ................................ 706 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 707 x. Steven Wing .......................................... 708 a. Qualifications .................................... 708 b. Wing's Mortality Study ............................ 709 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 710 d. Wing's Cancer Incidence Study ..................... 711 e. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 712 xi. Douglas Crawford"Brown ............................... 713 a. Qualifications .................................... 713 b. Crawford"Brown's Opinion .......................... 714 c. Discussion and Conclusions ........................ 714 4. Effect of the Exclusion of Wing's Lung Cancer Testimony .... 716 5. Exclusion of Experts' Submissions as Untimely .............. 717 6. Conclusion ................................................. 722 B. The Non "Trial Plaintiffs' Appeal ................................ 723 C. The Monetary Sanctions Appeal ................................... 728 D. Reassignment Upon Remand ........................................ 728 VII. CONCLUSION ........................................................... 729 Page 622

OPINION OF THE COURT

I. INTRODUCTION

These...

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