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In re National Prescription Opiate Litigation

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

August 26, 2019

IN RE NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION OPIATE LITIGATION THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO: Track One Cases

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO EXCLUDE CUTLER

          DAN AARON POLSTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Exclude David Cutler's Opinions and Proposed Testimony. For the reason stated below, the Motion is DENIED.

         I.

         The Court hereby incorporates the legal standards set forth in the Court's Opinion and Order regarding Defendants' motion to exclude the opinion and testimony of Prof. Meredith Rosenthal. (Doc. #: 2495).

         II. Introduction

         David Cutler is the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics and the Harvard College Professor at Harvard University. He received a Ph. D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. Cutler specializes in health economics and public economics and has published more than 200 journal articles and written two books on the economics of health care. He is a former editor of the Journal of Health Economics and a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Public Economics, and the World health Organization Bulletin. Cutler has received numerous major awards, including the Griliches Prize in 1999, the Ken Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association for best paper in health economics in 2000, and, with Jonathan Gruber, the ASHEcon award for best health economist age 40 and under in 2006. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

         In his Report, Cutler delivers the following opinions:

1. The increase in prescription opioid shipments since 1995 has contributed to harms that the relevant divisions of the Bellwether governments provide services to address;
2. The percentage of harms attributable to prescription opioid shipments can be economically estimated;
3. My analysis of the percentage of harms attributable to prescription opioid shipments, together with analysis of the percentage of prescription opioid shipments that are due to the defendants' misconduct reported in the Rosenthal Report, yields annual estimates of the percentage of harms due to defendants' misconduct for each Bellwether division affected by the opioid crisis;
4. My analysis of the percentage of costs attributable to prescription opioid shipments is confirmed by a supplementary analysis of the direct effect of prescription opioid shipments on crime;
5. My methodology for computing annual estimates of the percentage of harms due to the defendants' misconduct would not be modified if the inputs are varied, so that if different percentages are assigned to the shipments attributable to the defendants' misconduct, the methodology can still be applied in estimating damages based on the modified calculations.

Cutler Report at ¶ 11 (Doc. # 1901-4)

         III. Discussion Defendants ask the Court to bar Cutler from testifying because his opinions, rooted in an aggregate methodology, are irrelevant to ...


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