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


  1. Mendoza v. Lafarge North America, Inc. et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Louisiana – January 13th, 2015 – In this personal injury case involving a motor vehicle and a cement-mixing truck, the plaintiff (Mendoza) has filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of David W. Aiken, Jr, M.D. (orthopedic surgery expert witness).  Dr. Aiken was hired to offer an opinion on Mendoza’s medical condition and whether the accident caused the need for her neck surgery.  Dr. Aiken concluded that the accident did not cause Mendoza’s need for neck surgery.  Mendoza filed a motion stating that Dr. Aiken’s expert testimony was unreliable because he did not examine the plaintiff.  The court disagreed with her, stating that, under Daubert, expert witnesses need not examine a plaintiff to come to a reliable opinion.  Thus, the motion to exclude the evidence was denied.
  2. United States of America v. Mark Spangler – United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – January 15th, 2016 – The defendant appeals the lower court opinion which convicted him of wire fraud, money laundering, and investment-advisor fraud.  Spangler maintains that the district court erred in excluding the expert witness testimony of John Keller (forensic accounting expert witness).  He maintains that Keller’s testimony would have been relevant as to his intent to defraud his clients.  The appeals court disagreed and affirmed the opinion of the lower court.
  3. Howard v. Offshore Liftboats, LLC et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Louisiana – January 19th, 2016 – In this maritime personal injury case, the plaintiffs were injured while transferring a personnel basket from one ship to another.  The defendants filed separate motions to excluder the expert witness testimony of David Cole (admiralty & maritime expert witnesses).  Both of the objections were based on whether Cole was qualified to testify.  The court granted the motion filed by K&K Offshore and granted in part the motion filed by OLB.