Occupational Medicine Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Discrimination Lawsuit Against City of Chicago

Summary:  Occupational Medicine Expert Witness testimony allowed even though the plaintiffs argued that he did not conduct a validation study pursuant to specific EEOC Guidelines.

Facts:  This case (Livingston et al v. City of Chicago – United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois – April 6th, 2022) involves a discrimination claim.  The plaintiff’s argue that the City of Chicago discriminates against women in the hiring process for the Chicago Fire Department paramedic positions.  The plaintiff’s allege that the City used two physical tests (the Step Test and the Lifting and Moving Sequence Test to terminate women from paramedic training classes.  They say that a higher percentage of women failed both tests.  In order to prove their case. the City hired Occupational Medicine Expert Witness Dr. Paul Davis to provide expert testimony.  The plaintiffs have filed a motion to dismiss the expert witness testimony of Dr. Davis.

Discussion:  The plaintiffs argue that Dr. Davis’s testimony should be excluded because he did not conduct a thorough validation study pursuant to the E.E.O.C. Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (“Guidelines”).  The City states that showing that the tests are job related does not require a validation study pursuant to the Guidelines.  The court opines that the City does not have to conduct a formal validation study and the fact that Dr. Davis did not perform a validation study does not mean that his expert witness testimony should be excluded.

The plaintiffs also mention that Dr. Davis relies on the Guidelines by citing them in his report and has endorsed formal validation studies in the past.  The court notes that this argument goes to the weight of the testimony, not it’s admissibility.

In addition, the plaintiffs argue that Dr. Davis solely relies on his expertise and subjective opinions of the test and, thus, is not the product of sufficient and known facts.  The court opines that Dr. Davis does include objective facts and data in his list of cited resources.  Also, the court notes that Dr. Davis visited the site where the tests took place and inspected the equipment.  The court thus opines that this information, combined with his expertise, is enough to form an opinion on the job-relatedness of the Tests.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness opinion of Dr. Paul Davis is denied.