Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Insurance Case

Summary: Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness allowed to provide testimony in automobile accident case as the court opined that his testimony is relevant.

Facts:  This case (Williams v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. – United States District Court – District of Colorado – June 17th, 2019) involved an automobile accident.  This lawsuit involves one of the persons involved in the accident against an insurance company.  The defendant has hired Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness Nathan Rose, M.S. to provide an opinion.  The plaintiff has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  Mr. Rose was hired to provide an opinion on questions of the plaintiff’s negligence and fault before and during the collision.  In his expert report, Mr. Rose opined that the plaintiff caused the accident was avoidable to the plaintiff because he was travelling too fast or that he “failed to respond when he had more than adequate time to do so.”

The plaintiff alleges that Mr. Rose’s opinions should be excluded because they are not relevant to the issues that the jury must decide in the case.  The issues in this case, the plaintiff contends, was whether it was reasonable for the defendant to deny the plaintiff’s claim on different grounds.

The court disagrees with the plaintiff’s argument.  The court opines that the plaintiff’s contention that Mr. Rose’s testimony is irrelevant does not account for the plaintiff’s breach of contract claim, which is the only claim left in this action.

The court further opines that, “Mr. Rose’s testimony about Plaintiff’s role in causing the collision is relevant to Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim because Plaintiff must prove the damages he is legally entitled to recover from Defendant.”

Thus, the court continues, the plaintiff’s role in causing the collision has a bearing on the damages that the defendant may owe him under the policy language.   The court further notes that Mr. Rose’s testimony articulates to the extent to which the plaintiff was negligent and caused the collision, and is therefore relevant to the damages element of the plaintiff’s claim.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Nathan Rose, M.S. is denied.