Special Event Security Expert Witness Testimony Excluded

Plaintiff sued defendant for negligence after he was assaulted at a music festival.  Plaintiff hired a Special Event Security Expert Witness to provide testimony.  Defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert.  The court granted the motion.

Facts:  This case (Milligan, Joshua v. Rock on the River, Inc. et al – United States District Court – Western District of Wisconsin – December 29th, 2017) involves an assault that occurred at a music festival in Bridgeport, Wisconsin.  The plaintiff alleges that the defendants should be held liable for failing to stop or prevent the assault.  The plaintiff has hired Special Event Security Expert Witness Russel Kolins to provide expert witness testimony on his behalf.  The defendants have filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  In his expert report, Kolins states that the defendants were reckless and negligent because they failed to provide management and control of the premises, along with other opinions.  The court opines that these opinions are stated at a high level of generality that it is difficult to determine what Kolins believes that the defendants should have done differently or how the defendants breached their duty to the plaintiff.  The court opines that these types of conclusory opinions would not be helpful to the jury.

The court does note that the only opinion proffered by Kolins that shows a particular defect is that the defendants failed to provide a sufficient number of security officers, but he doesn’t provide any basis for that opinion.  The court also notes that Kolins appears to contradict his opinion elsewhere in his report.

Kolins also opines that the defendants were negligent because officers were not present at the exact location where the assault took place.  The court opines, however, that Kolins does not support this opinion.  In addition, the court opines that while Kollins discusses numerous security standards in his report, he does not cite any that suggest that the standard of care requires staff to be in all places at all times.

The court also notes that the assault occurred outside of the gates of the music venue in an area designated for camping.  But, the court continues, Kolins does not account for this in his report and he does not provide any support for a view that the standard of care would require staff to be present near the bathroom in an area adjacent to the convert venue.

The court concludes that Kolins’s opinions are simply conclusions that are not tied to any data.

Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Russel Kolins is granted.