Roofing Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Hail Storm Damage Litigation

Summary: Roofing Expert Witness allowed to testify even though the defendant argued that the expert did not provide any reasoning which ties the data he relied on to the conclusions he made in his report with respect to roof damage.

Facts: This case (J.A. LANIER & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. ROBBINS ELECTRA MANAGEMENT, LLC – United States District Court – Eastern District of Texas – April 26th, 2022) involves claims for a breach of a Public Insurance Adjuster Contract, fraud, fraud by nondisclosure, negligent misrepresentation, and promissory estoppel.  The issue involves hail damage to roofs of buildings owned by the defendant, Robbins Electra Management.   The dispute in this case is whether the hail damage occurred on either March 23rd, 2016 or June 5th, 2018.  The plaintiff, Lanier, hired Roofing Expert Witness Gary B. Treider to provide expert testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  Treider concluded in his report that the damage to the roofs were a result of a hail storm in 2016.  Robbins argues that Treider is not qualified to offer an opinion in this case because there is no information on Treider’s education, certifications, or licenses.  Lanier replies that Treider has investigated over 20,000 roof inspections and has spent more than 1,000 hours on hail impact analysis. The court notes that, since 2008, Treider has owned his own consulting business providing damage consulting services, appraisal services and materials testing.  In addition, the court states that Treider is a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials and regularly attends workshops and seminars.  Thus, the court concludes that Treider is qualified to offer an expert opinion in this case.

The defendants also claim that Treider’s opinions are not based on sufficient facts or data.  They say that Treider did not set forth any reasoning which ties the data he relied on to the conclusions that he made in his report.  Lanier replies that Treider provided a reliable methodology for doing a forensic storm damage assessment and relied on enough data to come to his conclusions.  The court opines that Treider relied on numerous surveys and inventories to arrive at his conclusions.  In addition, the court states that Treider’s expert witness testimony is reliable as he used testing recognized as an industry standard for determining roof damage.

In addition. Robbins claims that Treider relies more on his experience rather than any data or methodology.  The court notes, however, that Rule 702 does not prohibit an expert from using his experience in coming to his conclusions. Thus, the motion to exclude Treider’s expert witness opinions is denied.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Gary B. Treider is denied.