Tractors Expert Witnesses Testimony Partially Allowed

Plaintiff sued defendant after their decedent’s were involving in a fatal car accident.  Plaintiff’s hired two Tractors Expert Witnesses and the defendant’s filed motions to exclude.  A Magistrate judge partially granted and partially denied this motion.  The defendant’s appealed to the lead judge in the case, who agreed with the Magistrate.

Facts:  This case (Amalu v. LSH Transport, LLC et al – United States District Court – Western District of Tennessee – April 23rd, 2018) involves a car accident that killed everyone involved.  The parties disagree on the numerous roles of the involved parties as well as which company employed the driver of a tractor trailer, one of the vehicles involved in the accident.  The plaintiffs hired Roger Allen and Peter Philbrick (Tractors Expert Witnesses) to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendants filed a motion to exclude these experts.  A magistrate judge partially granted and partially denied the motions to exclude.  This opinion involves the lead judge on the case, who affirmed the decision of the magistrate judge.

Discussion:  The defendants object to the magistrate’s opinion that Mr. Allen and Mr. Philbrick are qualified to offer expert opinions on freight brokers and motor carrier selection.  The Magistrate noted that Allen has extensive in the field of the operation of tractor-trailers, has worked in the transportation industry and is employed by a commercial transportation and safety consultation company.  He obtained his knowledge of freight brokerage through his work experience and expert witness work an is thus qualified to offer an opinion in this case and that any concerns about his qualifications should be done at cross examination.

The Magistrate judge also opined that Mr. Philbrick is also qualified to provide expert witness testimony on tractor-trailers through his 60 years of experience working in the trucking industry.   In addition, he obtained knowledge of freight brokerage through his work in the trucking industry as well as his expert witness work.  The Magistrate opined that any arguments on the qualifications of Mr. Philbrick should be done on cross-examination.

The judge did rule that Mr. Allen and Mr. Philbrick may not testify as to questions of the law.

The defendants argue that neither of these experts have specific experience in the freight brokerage industry or with motor carrier selection.  In addition, they argue that neither of these experts have not published articles nor have they been subjected to peer review.  Last, they argue that these experts have not taught or lectured on any of these subjects and they allege that the opinions of these experts are outdated.  The Magistrate opined that the expert’s experience in the trucking industry qualifies them to opine on these matters and that any arguments otherwise should be done on cross examination.   The lead judge agreed with the opinions of the Magistrate.

Conclusion:  The opinions of the Magistrate judge partially granting and partially denying the motion to exclude is affirmed.