Daubert Shorts – Recent Opinions on Motions to Exclude Expert Witness Testimony


  1. Brooks et al v. Caterpillar, Inc. – United States District Court – Western District of Kentucky – January 20th, 2016 – In this products liability case involving a coal mining accident, the Plaintiffs sued the Defendant claiming that the incident could have been avoided if a handle on a roof bolter machine was located in a different spot.  The Plaintiffs hired Thomas Boutaugh and Jack Spadaro (Mining Expert Witnesses) to provide expert witness testimony on their behalf.  The defendants have filed a motion to exclude the testimony of both witnesses citing non-qualification and erred methodologies.  The court opined that the testimony of both experts were allowed.
  2. Douglas Lapham and Hilarie Lapham v. Watts Regulator Company – United States District Court – District of Kansas – January 21st, 2016 – The Plaintiffs bring this products liability action against the Defendants for a defective toilet connector.   Their claims include design defect, manufacturing defect, and warning defect.  In order to prove their case, the plaintiffs hired  Dr. Javier Cruz, a plastics expert witness.  The Defendants have filed a motion to exclude this testimony on the grounds of reliability and qualifications.  The court denied the motion to exclude.
  3. State of Arizona v. Joseph Javier Romero – Arizona Supreme Court – January 20th, 2016 – The appellant in this case appeals his first degree murder conviction.  He states that the trial court erred when it precluded the expert witness testimony of Dr. Ralph Haber (firearms & ballistics expert witness).  Specifically, Romero states that the court should have allowed Dr. Haber’s testimony that firearms experts use subjective methods when drawing conclusions from indentations on shell casings.  An divided appeals court also agreed to with the trial court in not allowing this testimony.  The present court affirmed this ruling.