Daubert Shorts – Recent Opinions on Motions to Exclude Expert Witness Testimony


  1. Trask v. Olin Corp – United States District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania – March 28th, 2016 – This is a products-liability case in which a Winchester Model 94 rifle was claimed to have fired accidentally, injuring two of the Plaintiffs.  The defendants (Olin) filed a Daubert motion to exclude the expert testimony of the plaintiff’s two experts,  Michael Knox (forensic engineering expert witness) and Charles Powell (metallurgy expert witness).  The court denied the motion to exclude.
  2. Tajonera et al v. Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations – United States District Court – Eastern District of Louisiana – March 28th, 2016 – This case involves an explosion on the Black Elk Energy West Delta 32 Block Platform in the Gulf of Mexico.  The plaintiffs have filed a motion to exclude the expert testimony of Calvin Barnhill (oil & gas expert witness).  The court granted the motion to exclude.
  3. Henkel v. Wagner et al – United States District Court – Southern District of New York – March 29th, 2016 – In this case, the plaintiff (Henkel) sued the defendants (Wagner and his law firm) for legal malpractice in an underlying employment matter.  Both parties have filed Daubert motions to exclude testimony of the others expert witnesses.  Those experts are: Steven E. Hall (compensation expert witness) for the plaintiff, Dr. Josefina Tranfa-Abboud (economics expert witness) for the defendant , and Ray Nardo, Esq (labor law expert witness) for the defense.  The court denied all three of the motions.
  4. People v. Berry – New York Court of Appeals – March 29th, 2016 – The appellant (Berry) appeals his murder conviction.  He alleges, as part of his appeal, that the lower court erred when it excluded part of the testimony of his identification expert (criminalistics expert witness) related to the effect of “event stress”.  The trial court concluded that “event stress” was not a topic generally accepted in the scientific community and, thus, excluded this part of the testimony.  The present court affirmed the ruling.
  5. People v. Hernandez – California Court of Appeals – Fifth District – March 29th, 2016 – The appellant appeals his murder and active street gang conviction.  Part of his appeal alleges that the trial court erred when it excluded his psychology expert witness, Phillip Hamm, Ph.D, based on qualifications.  The appeals court confirmed the opinion of the trial court.