Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against the defendants arguing that they violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff hired a Jails & Prisons Expert Witness to provide testimony. Defendant filed a motion to exclude the expert testimony of this witness. The court granted the motion in part and denied it in part.
Facts: This case (Session v. Clemings et al – United States District Court – District of Colorado – January 14th 2019) involves a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants, deputies from the Denver Sheriff’s Department, violated his due process rights by keeping him in a segregation unit at Denver Detention Center. The plaintiff has hired David Teigen (Jails & Prisons Expert Witness) to provide testimony. The defendant has filed a motion to exclude the testimony of this expert witness.
Discussion: The defendants argue that 1) Mr. Teigen is not qualified to opine in the standards and policies applicable to a county-level detention center; 2) Mr. Teigen’s reliance on certain prison policies render his opinions as unreliable; and 3) Mr. Teigen’s opinion on the policies and practices of DDC are not relevant.
The defendants argue that Mr. Teigen is not qualified to opine on the standards and policies applicable to DDC because his only experience is with state-operated prisons. The plaintiff alleges that Mr. Teigen is qualified to opine on the standards applicable to the DDC based on his training, professional experience. The court opines that Mr. Teigen has thirty years of experience in the corrections field and has served a variety of roles in the state corrections industry and is thus qualified to opine on the standards governing offender classification at DDC and whether defendants complied with those standards.
The court also rejects the defendants’ arguments that Mr. Teigen’s opinions are unreliable. The defendants argue that Mr. Teigen’s opinions are based on a flawed methodology as they rely on standards not applicable to the DDC. The court finds that defendants’ arguments are not persuasive as Mr. Teigen’s report draws from various sets of standards to demonstrate uniformity within the corrections field.
The defendants argue that Mr. Teigen’s are unreliable because he does not provide any support for his conclusions. The court opines that it is evident from Mr. Teigen’s report that he is relying on his extensive experience and training in the corrections field as a basis for his opinions. The court opines that Mr. Teigen’s report demonstrates that his experience is a sufficient basis for his conclusions and that he has reliably applied that experience to the facts of the case.
Regarding relevancy, the court opines that Mr. Teigen’s opinions related to the defendants’ compliance with record-keeping standards have no bearing on the claim of this case.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness opinions of David Teigen is granted in part and denied in part.