Appraisal & Valuation Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in RV Product Liability Case

Appraisal & Valuation Expert Witness allowed to provide testimony because the court found that his testimony was relevant.

Facts: This case (Pegg v. Nexus RVs LLC – United States District Court – Northern District of Indiana – July 2nd, 2019) involves the purchase of an RV, which, according to the plaintiff, had problems from the moment he drove it off the lot.  The plaintiff filed suit against the defendant for breach of express and implied warranty.  The plaintiff hired Tom Bailey (Appraisal & Valuation Expert Witness) to provide testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Mr. Bailey.

Discussion:  The court first states that Bailey is qualified to provide valuation testimony as he has conducted more than 2,000 specialized RV and bus appraisals and has been retained as an expert in a number of similar cases.  In addition, Bailey has been in the RV industry for more than 50 years.  The court rules that based on his education, training, and experience, Bailey is qualified to testify as an expert witness in this case.

The court also opines that Bailey’s methodology and valuation opinions are reliable.  The defendants argue that Bailey did not show how he arrived at the fair market and diminished value calculations.  The court disagrees.  The court notes that Bailey set forth 15 forces that can affect the value of an RV, he defined an appraisal and set forth accepted methods to determine a fair market value.

The defendants take issue with Bailey’s statement that he considered everything in a lump sum when formulating his opinion.  The court opines that this is how an appraisal works, as the technique of an appraisal is an art, not a science.  The court in this case pointed to another case in the same district as this case that dealt with a challenge to a valuation by Bailey.  That court noted that “Mr. Bailey’s approach may not have been “scientific,” but it was specialized as well as technical, which is allowable under Rule 702.”

The defendant also argues that Bailey’s opinions are not relevant and will not assist the jury.  The defendant argues that Bailey’s opinion is irrelevant because he did not use the proper measure of damages.  The court opines that Bailey’s expert opinions are relevant and will assist the trier of fact in this case.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Tom Bailey is denied.