Plaintiff filed suit against defendant related to a premises liability claim. Plaintiff hired a Premises Liability Expert Witness to provide testimony. Defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying. The court granted the motion to exclude.
Facts: This case (Woods v. Ross Dress For Less, Inc. et al – United States District Court – Northern District of Oklahoma – September 11th, 2019) involves a premises liability claim. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendant for injuries she sustained when she fell outside the doors of a store owned by the defendant. The main issue is the placement of a “for hire” sign. The plaintiff has hired Premises Liability Expert Witness Addison Cord Adams to provide testimony. The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.
Discussion: The plaintiff has offered Adams to testify about city ordinances, the International Building Code, and the International Property Maintenance Code. The defendant maintains that Adams should not be allowed to testify in this case because he is not qualified, his testimony is not relevant or reliable, and his opinions would not be helpful to the jury.
The court notes that Adams lists his qualifications as a “Certified Legal Investigator Certified Member International Code Council, I.C.C. Certified Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector and A.N.S.I Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder.” In addition, the court notes that he has had some training at the National Floor Safety Institute, where he obtained a certificate in November 2018 where became a Walkway Auditor Certificate Holder.
The court notes that Adams admits that being a certified legal investigator does not make him a premises liability expert. In addition, the court notes that Adams has a certificate as a property maintenance and housing inspector, which requires that he be a member of the International Code Council, but that it requires no training.
The court also notes that Adams attended no seminars on premises liability before he prepared his report for this case. After he prepared his report he did attend some premises liability seminars. In addition, the court states that none of Adams’ previous publications or speaking engagements dealt with premises liability. Also, the court notes that Adams testified twice in court but the first one was a long time ago and the other one involved a pedestrian accident, not premises liability.
Also, the court notes that Adams has never been certified as a premises liability expert by a court or allowed to testify as a premises liability expert in any court case. The court also notes that Adams was once excluded in a premises liability case. Thus, the court concludes that Adams is not qualified to offer an expert witness opinion in this case.
That said, the court opines that even if Adams was qualified to testify as a premises liability expert in this case, his testimony will not be helpful to the jury in understanding evidence or determining a facts at issue in the case.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Addison Cord Adams is granted.