Software Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Part in Trade Secrets Litigation

Summary: Software Expert Witness testimony allowed in part even though the plaintiff alleges that the expert did not have the qualifications or experience to opine on Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Facts:  This case (Medimpact Healthcare Sys., Inc. v. IQVIA Holdings Inc – United States District Court – Southern District of California – October 7, 2022) involves a claims of misappropriation of trade secrets under state and federal law.  The plaintiff alleges that IQVIA created a scheme to steal and target their customers, destroy a joint venture, and misappropriate their trade secrets.  The defendant hired Software Expert Witness Barbara Frederiksen-Cross to provide expert testimony.  The plaintiff filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion: The plaintiff alleges that Ms. Frederiksen’s opinions should be excluded because 1) she is not qualified to offer an opinion on Pharmacy benefit Managers; 2) her opinions on design and development  are unreliable and conclusory; 3) she repeats information that was previously known.

The court notes that Ms. Federiksen has been a software developer and consultant for 47 years.  In addition, the court states that she has experience with insurance and healthcare systems.  The court also notes that since Ms. Frederiksen has experience with software development, she has relevant experience to provide an expert witness opinion on PBMs.  The court notes that any challenges to her qualifications go to the weight of her testimony, but not the admissibility.

The plaintiff also alleges that Ms. Frederiksen’s calculation on the “hypothetical maximum benefit” that Dimensions could have taken from MedImpact’s trade secrets is based on a faulty assumption and does not have any traceable methodology.  The court disagrees, stating that she relied on correct methodology and that any argument on this issue can be discussed during cross-examination.

In addition, the court states Ms. Frederiksen’s expert witness opinions on whether or not MedImpact’s trade secrets are contained in AIMS has been barred on the ruling on the preclusion of issues.  Last, the court concludes that Ms. Frederiksen will be allowed to rely on EMS developers about whether EMS can perform real-time adjudication.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Barbara Frederiksen-Cross is granted in part and denied in part.