Articles Posted in Daubert

Summary:  Electrical Engineering Expert Witness allowed to testify even though the defendant argued that his testimony was speculation because he did not perform tests on the aquarium motor, which he alleges caused the fire.

Facts:  This case (Scicchitano Smith et al v. SPECTRUM BRANDS, INC. et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Pennsylvania – August 10, 2022) involves a negligence claim.  The plaintiffs, Jeanette Scicchitano Smith and Alexander Smith, sued Spectrum Brands, alleging that an aquarium kit, purchased from the defendant, was defective and caused a fire in their home.  To assist in their case, the Smiths hired Electrical Engineering Expert Witness Christoph Flaherty to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary:  Compensation Expert Witness expert witness testimony not allowed even though the plaintiff blamed the defendant for the plaintiff’s failure to supplement the expert’s July 2020 report.

Facts:  This case (Robles v. Eminent Medical Center LLC et al – United States District Court – Northern District of Texas – August 3, 2022) involves an employment discrimination claim.  the plaintiff, April Robles, alleges that her former employer, Eminent Medical Center, fired her because she asked for benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act and due to her alleged disability.  In addition, she claims that the defendants failed to accommodate her alleged disability.  She filed sued, seeking damages for lost compensation and benefits as well as liquidated damages prejudgment interest, and attorney’s fees.  In order to prove her case, Robles hired Compensation Expert Witness Dr. Allyn Needham, Ph.D to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude Dr. Needham’s testimony.

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Summary: Civil Engineering Expert Witness testimony allowed in part even though the plaintiff argued that the expert’s testimony involving visibility and ride duration will not assist the trier of fact because it rehashed other testimony.

Facts:  This case (Saulsbery v. Mark Twain Water Zone, LLC et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Missouri – August 3, 2022) involves a personal injury claim.  The plaintiff, Melissa Saulsbery, alleges that she was injured while at the Mark Twain Water Park when she reached the bottom of a water slide after she was struck from behind by another customer.  Saulsbery states that she received injuries to her back, hips, and ribs and that she required hip surgery.  The defendant hired Civil Engineering Expert Witness Philip Rosescu to provide expert witness testimony.  The plaintiff filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary: Accident Reconstruction & Safety Expert Witness not allowed to testify even though the plaintiff argued that Kroger’s argument that Balian’s opinion was general knowledge should be brought up at cross-examination.

Facts:  This case (Sutton v. Kroger Co. – United States District Court – Eastern District of Tennessee – July 28th, 2022) involves a personal injury claim.  The plaintiff, Robin Sutton, alleges that she fell outside the defendant’s store, slipping on ice and landing on her right side.  Sutton states that, as a result of the fall, she lost consciousness and suffered a closed head injury.  Sutton filed suit against the defendant, claiming that it had a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition by removing harmful conditions.  She states that Kroger allowed ice to accumulate near the gas pumps, which created a dangerous condition causing her to fall and sustain injuries.  The plaintiff hired  Alex J. Balian to testify on her behalf.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary:  Aerospace Engineering Expert Witness allowed to testify in part despite defendants’ argument that he does not have knowledge of the actual regulations that were violated.

Facts: This case (Aircraft Holding Solutions LLC et al v. Learjet Inc et al – United States District Court – Northern District of Texas – July 29, 2022) involves a claim of damages to a Bombardier Challenger 300 during routine maintenance.  The plaintiffs filed this action after the airplane fell from it’s jacks.  The plaintiffs argue that they are entitled to damages for the value of the aircraft and other damages as a result of the defendant’s negligence.  The plaintiffs hired Aerospace Engineering Expert Witness Pat Duggins to provide expert testimony.  The defendants have filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary: Mechanical Engineering Expert Witness allowed to testify even though the defendant argued that his expert opinion should be excluded because he did not conduct an accident reconstruction report.

Facts:  This case (Hix-Hernandez v. Ford Motor Co. – United States District Court – Western District of Texas – July 25, 2022) involves a products-liability claim against Ford Motor Company.  The plaintiff, Staci Hix-Hernandez, claims that she was injured when a battery dislodged from an Ford F-150 truck after it collided with a tractor-trailer.  Hix Hernandez says that the battery became airborne and crashed through her windshield and hit her in the face.  She states that she sustained numerous injuries due to the accident including facial fractures, chemical burns to her face, as well as physical and emotional trauma.  Hix-Hernandez filed suit against Ford Motor, claiming that the battery was defectively secured in the compartment of the F-150 and that the design of the battery restraint in the F-150 was flawed.  Hix-Hernandez hired Mechanical Engineering Expert Witness Jahan Rasty, Ph.D to provide expert witness testimony in this case.  Ford has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary: Police Procedures Expert Witness testimony not allowed even though the defense argued that the expert has experience in crime scene reconstruction based on his history of being a law enforcement professional.

Facts:  This case (Minifield v. City of Winchester et al – United States District Court – Western District of Virginia – July 15th, 2022) involves a claim of excessive force.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendant caused the death of the plaintiff’s decedent when he was shot in a foot chase.  The cases revolves on the question of how the decedent received a gunshot wound that subsequently killed him.  The defendant, Stephen Sills, hired Police Procedures Expert Witness Gerald Summers to provide expert witness testimony on his behalf.  The plaintiff filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary:  Mortgage Expert Witness testimony allowed even though the defendant argued that he was not qualified to offer an opinion because he has never worked for a mortgage servicer or servicing regulator.

Facts:  This case (United States ex rel. Mitchell v. CIT Bank, N.A. – United States District Court – Eastern District of Texas – April 26, 2022) involves a claim under the False Claims Act (FCA).  The Relator, Andrew Mitchell, through the plaintiff, The United States, alleges that the defendant, One West Bank, submitted false claims to the Government in order to obtain payment under three Government loan-modification programs.  Mitchel alleges that One West Bank certified to numerous Government agencies that it was in compliance with specific laws and regulations, despite it knowing that it was not.  One West Bank’s false certifications caused the government to make payments to the bank that it wouldn’t have made.  In order to assist in his case, Mitchell hired Mortgage Expert Witness Nelson Locke, Esq. to provide expert testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert witness from testifying.

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Summary: Roofing Expert Witness allowed to testify even though the defendant argued that the expert did not provide any reasoning which ties the data he relied on to the conclusions he made in his report with respect to roof damage.

Facts: This case (J.A. LANIER & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. ROBBINS ELECTRA MANAGEMENT, LLC – United States District Court – Eastern District of Texas – April 26th, 2022) involves claims for a breach of a Public Insurance Adjuster Contract, fraud, fraud by nondisclosure, negligent misrepresentation, and promissory estoppel.  The issue involves hail damage to roofs of buildings owned by the defendant, Robbins Electra Management.   The dispute in this case is whether the hail damage occurred on either March 23rd, 2016 or June 5th, 2018.  The plaintiff, Lanier, hired Roofing Expert Witness Gary B. Treider to provide expert testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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Summary: Law Enforcement Expert Witness testimony allowed despite the plaintiff’s argument that his opinions are biased and that the defendants are lying, which does not support the facts of the case.

Facts:  This case (Wood v. City of San Antonio et al – United States District Court – Western District of Texas – April 25th, 2022) involves a claim under section 1983 related to damages following the plaintiff’s arrest outside of her friend’s domicile in February 2019.  Wood filed suit against numerous defendants, including the City of San Antonio and a number of police officers who were called to the scene.  Wood alleges that the defendants violated her Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure as well as violation of her right to due process.  To assist in their case, the defendants hired Law Enforcement Expert Witness Craig Miller to provide expert witness testimony.  The plaintiff filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

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