Plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment against the defendant related to an accident at a truck stop. Plaintiff hired a Trucking Expert Witness to provide testimony. Defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying. The court denied the motion to exclude.
Facts: This case (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Morrow et al – United States District Court – Western District of Kentucky) involves an insurance claim related to an accident at a truck stop. The defendant struck and killed an individual while refueling at a truck stop. The plaintiff insurance company has filed a declaratory judgment against the defendant seeking a declaration that it is not liable to cover or indemnify the defendant under its non-trucking liability policy. The plaintiff has hired Whitney Morgan (Trucking Expert Witness) to provide testimony. As part of the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, he has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.
Discussion: The court first notes that Morgan is not providing an opinion based on scientific expertise, rather he is testifying on what is customary in the trucking industry. The court opines hat Morgan has provided opinions in matters regarding compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) since 1990. In addition, he has helped out with audits about driver qualifications, inspections, drug and alcohol testing, repair and maintenance, and other related subjects. In addition, the court opines that Morgan has testified between one hundred and one hundred and fifty trials. Thus, the court concludes that Morgan is qualified to provide testimony on the trucking industry in this case.
The court also opines that Morgan should be excluded from testifying on an insurance construction issue. In addition, the court notes that Morgan will be able to offer an opinion on what is customary in the trucking industry and how it relates to how the defendant was furthering the business of his employer at the time of the accident.
The court also looks at whether Morgan’s deposition should be excluded as unreliable. The court does note that the Sixth Circuit favors a broad interpretation of the Rule 702. Thus, in this case, the court rules that any arguments about reliability goes to the weight of the evidence, and not its admissibility.
Conclusion: The motion to dismiss the expert witness testimony of Whitney Morgan is denied.