Construction Insurance Expert Witness Testimony Allowed

Plaintiff filed suit against defendant related to an insurance claim at a residence.  Plaintiff hired a Construction Insurance Expert Witness to provide testimony.  Defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.  The court denied the motion to exclude.

Facts:  This case (Adams Craig Acquisitions LLC v. Atain Specialty Insurance Company et al – United States District Court – District of Arizona – August 2nd, 2019) involves an insurance claim on a construction project.  Two years after the construction of a residence, the homeowners of a residence noticed a leak in the garage of their home, which led to the discovery of other problems with the construction of the home.  The plaintiff submitted an insurance claim, which was partially denied by the defendant insurance company.  The plaintiff then sued the defendant.  The plaintiff hired Kirk Hays (Construction Insurance Expert Witness) to provide testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The defendant first argues that that Hays is not qualified to offer testimony in this case.  The court notes that Hays is an attorney who has experience in legal fields related to insurance related construction claims.  In addition, he has represented clients in cases regarding insurance coverage for construction-related claims.  The court opines that even though he hasn’t worked for an insurance company, Hays’ experience with the insurance industry in the context of construction is enough to qualify him as an expert witness in this case.

In addition, the court opines that Hays’ report does not present does not present too much of an analytical gap between the data and the opinion offered.  The court opines that Hays’ report lists the materials that he reviewed in preparing his report.  In addition, the court states that Hays attended a site inspection of the property.  In his report, Hays discusses the reasons for his conclusions.  The court notes that the defendant is free to argue their case against Hays at cross examination, but his expert opinion is reliable under Daubert.

Also, the court opines that Hays’ report does not give his opinion on the ultimate issue of this case, which was whether the defendant acted in bad faith.  In addition, the court opines that the issues on which Hays opines will help the finder of fact to make the ultimate conclusion.  Also, the court notes that Hays’ report does not usurp the Court’s role in instructing the jury as to the legal standards that are relevant in this case.

The court does warn Hays that if Hays should attempt to opine on legal conclusions at trial, these opinions will be excluded.

Opinion:  The motion to exclude the expert opinions of Kirk Hays is denied.