The Maryland Court of Appeals has granted a petition for certiorari and agreed to hear an appeal from a decsion of the Court of Special Appeals ruling that certain expert testimony is not admissible to support medical clams arising from exposure to mold and other environmental byproducts of damp buildings.
Such claims are often supported by a medical analysis known as differential diagnosis, which as been used by physicians to attribute various medical symptoms to inhalation of mold in water-damaged buildings. Rather than demonstrating a specific exposure to a specific mold resulting in a specific reaction, differential diagnosis uses a process that “rules out” or “rules in” possible causes of symptoms a patient is experiencing to determine that their symptoms are related to exposure to mold. Differential diagnosis has been frequently used to show an association between exposure to mold in wet buildings and certain human health effects. As was previously reported on this blog, in its opinion in the case of Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co. v. Chesson, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held that this method is not sufficiently accepted in the scientific community so as to be used as a basis for medical testimony in mold cases. The Court of Special Appeals reversed a trial court ruling that found such medical testimony to be reliable and admissible. Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, has now agreed to review and rule on this issue. Chesson v. Montgomery Mutual Insurance Co., Case No. 97, Sept. Term 2012.