Civil Engineering Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Part in Water Slide Injury Litigation

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.

Discussion:  The plaintiff claims that Rosescu is not qualified to offer an expert witness opinion in this case and states that his opinions would not assist the trier of fact or are not supported.  The court notes that Rosescu is a civil engineer and has a bachelor and masters degree in civil engineering.  His primary work involves slip and fall cases.  While the plaintiff alleges that Rosescu is not qualified, the court disagrees, stating that he is and will be allowed in this case.

One of Rosescu’s opinions involves visibility and ride duration.  Saulsbery states that this expert witness opinion should be excluded because it will not help the trier of fact understand a fact issue, and only rehashes other witnesses testimony.  The court disagrees, opining that Rosescu may testify as to the visibility based on his site inspection.

Rosescu also opined that the other person involved in the incident, Collin Nimsgern, was the sole cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.  According to Rosescu, Nimsgern violated numerous safety rules and standards and neglected his patron responsibility.  The court opined that Rosescu’s opinion about Minsgern is not supported and he will not be allowed to testify on that issue.

Conclusion:  The expert witness testimony of Philip Rosescu is granted in part and denied in part.