Statistics Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Marketing Litigation

Summary: Statistics Expert Witness testimony allowed despite the defendant’s argument attacking the expert’s claim rate and its release of an allegedly defective product.

Facts:  This case (Cone et al v. Sanitarios Lamosa S.A. DE C.V. et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Texas – March 28th, 2019) involves alleged manufacturing and/or marketing defects in certain of the defendants toilet tanks.  The plaintiffs have alleged four causes of action against the defendant: 1) Strict products liability; 2) breach of implied warranty; 3) negligence; and 4) violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“DTPA”).  The plaintiffs have hired Statistics Expert Witness Dr. Shawn Capser to provide testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The defendant argues that Dr. Casper’s opinions and testimony should be excluded.  Specifically, the defendant would like to exclude Dr. Casper’s testimony regarding the accuracy of the defendant’s claim rate and its production and release of an alleged defective product.  The defendant claims that these opinions are unreliable and unsupported.  In addition, the defendant further argues that Dr. Casper’s opinions are not reliable support for class certification purposes.

The plaintiffs reply that Dr. Casper applied accepted methodologies in reaching his opinions and that his opinions meet the Daubert standard for class certification consideration.

The court opines that Dr. Casper is qualified in the field of statistical and reliability methods as he is a certified Master Black Belt in Six Sigma.  The court further notes that he has substantial knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education that will assist the trier of fact in this case.  The court further opines that Dr. Casper’s methodology includes generally-accepted methods and principles within the field of statistics.  Thus, the court concludes that Dr. Casper’s testimony is admissible at this stage in the litigation and that any arguments are better brought up at cross-examination, rather than at the admissibility stage.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Shawn Capser is denied.