The latest issue of the Experts Edition of Vianello Consulting’s excellent newsletter series cites the decision of the federal district court for Alabama’s northern district in a products liability case involving Zicam No-Drip Liquid Nasal Gel, a homeopathic cold remedy.
Zicam is intended to reduce the length and severity of colds by placing its active ingredient, zinc gluconate, in direct contact with the nasal epithelial membrane. Plaintiff alleged that the use of Zicam per its instructions caused her to lose her senses of smell and taste because a toxic quantity of its active ingredient came into contact with her olfactory epithelium.
Two issues caused the court to preclude introduction of the plaintiff’s expert. First, the expert relied on studies with cadavers, but the defense was able to show that such studies did not accurately reflect what would happen in living humans who were administered Zicam. Secondly, the plaintiff’s expert relied on studies from the 1930’s and 1940’s that the court found were not relevant to establish causation.