Property & Casualty Insurance Expert Witness Not Allowed

Plaintiff sued defendant after a claim was denied.  Plaintiff maintains that he has insurance, while the defendant disagrees.  Plaintiff hired a Property & Casualty Insurance Expert Witness to provide testimony and the defendant filed a motion to exclude this testimony.  The court granted the motion.

Facts:  This case (Desizlets v. Geico Casualty Company – United States District Court – District of Colorado – April 9th, 2018) involves a dispute over insurance coverage.  The plaintiff alleges that he was insured at the time of an accident and the defendant insurance company disagrees.  Th plaintiff maintains that he made a payment on his auto insurance in the morning, while being involved in a car accident later that day.  To assist in proving his case, the plaintiff hired Property & Casualty Insurance Expert Witness, Dale Crawford.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert witness testimony.

Discussion:  Mr. Crawford will testify that, upon receipt of an insurance premium, it is the usual practice to bind coverage at that time.  He opined that the plaintiff’s credit card statement shows that he made a payment several hours before the accident occurred.

The defendant alleges that Mr. Crawford failed to consider important evidence and relied upon speculative evidence and his own misrepresentation of that evidence.  The defendant argues that Crawford did not review the plaintiff’s deposition,. nor the depositions of bank representatives, who were the most knowledgeable about the bank’s records and practices.

The plaintiff maintains that Crawfords opinions are based on sound methodology, in that Crawford was hired to review the actions of the defendant and form an opinion on the administration of the insurance claim.  The plaintiff argues that the defendant has less than stellar record keeping of its automated payment process and that the bank representative’s testimony is confusing.  Thus, the plaintiff argues, it was appropriate to base the majority of his opinions on the the bank statement.

The court opines that Crawford’s opinions relying on the plaintiff’s bank statement is not reliable and should not be allowed.  Crawford did not review the bank representative’s affidavit despite the fact that he was most knowledgeable about the processing of debit cards.  The court goes on to say that Crawford should have reviewed that testimony because he admittedly is not an expert in banking.  The court thus rules that Crawford’s reliance on bank statements to form his opinion should be stricken as unreliable.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dale Crawford is granted.