Dogs Expert Witness Allowed in Part

Plaintiffs sued after their dogs became ill after eating treats manufactured by defendant.  Defendant hired Dogs Expert Witness to provide expert testimony on their behalf.  Plaintiff filed a motion to exclude this expert, which was granted in part and denied in part by the court.

Facts:  This case (Bietsch et al v. Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc – United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois – September 19th, 2018) involves a claim for breach of implied and express warranties.  The plaintiffs allege that after their dogs ate Pur Luv pet treats manufactured by the defendant, they became ill.   The defendant hired Dr. Jörg Steiner (Dogs Expert Witness) to provide testimony on their behalf.  The plaintiff has filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Steiner.

Discussion:  The plaintiffs seek to exclude Dr. Steiner from opining on the adverse medical events experienced by the dogs that ate Pur Luv treats.  They would also like to bar Dr. Steiner from providing an opinion on what specific dog treats should be part of the current lawsuit.

The court first opines that Dr. Steiner is qualified to offer an opinion in this case, which the plaintiffs do not dispute.  The plaintiffs would like to bar Dr. Steiner from testifying about pre-market palatability trials and informal product testing by the defendants employees.  They argue that this testimony is nothing more than hearsay under the guise of expert testimony and would not be helpful to the jury.  The defendant argues that this testimony should be allowed because it is part of the foundation of Dr. Steiner’s opinion that there were no safety concerns with Pur Luv treats.  The court opines that this argument goes to the weight of the evidence and not the admissibility and that the plaintiffs are free to cross-examine Dr. Steiner.

The plaintiffs would also like to stop Dr. Steiner from opining on his review of the Adverse Events Database, stating that his opinions do not have a sufficient basis and that he does not have the proper qualifications to conduct this review.  The court again opines that these arguments go to the weight of the evidence, not their admissibility.  The court also denies the motion to exclude Dr. Steiner’s testimony with regard to causation opinions.

The court does opine that Dr. Steiner is not qualified to opine on questions of law.  Thus, he may not testify regarding which treats are appropriately part of this case.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Jörg Steiner is granted in part and denied in part.