Mealey's Daubert

  • February 23, 2017

    Federal Judge Rejects Motorola's Request For Daubert Hearing

    MARSHALL, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 21 partially granted a motion to exclude testimony on damages in a patent infringement case, but found that most of the expert's opinions did not justify exclusion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. before trial (Saint Lawrence Communications LLC v. ZTE Corp., et al., No. 2:15-cv-349, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23505).

  • February 23, 2017

    Judge Excludes Expert In Trademark Lawsuit For Lack Of Experience

    GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on Feb. 21 excluded the testimony of an expert in a trademark infringement lawsuit on grounds that his opinions were “non-substantiated proclamations on the ultimate questions of law and he lacked the requisite training education or experience in the relevant field of proffered expertise” (JFJ Toys Inc., et al. v. Sears Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 14-3527, D. Md.).

  • February 23, 2017

    8th Circuit Affirms Daubert, Evidence Suppression Rulings In Child Porn Case

    OMAHA, Neb. — A trial court properly found that a procedural notice error in the application of a warrant that led to a child pornography conviction did not prejudice the defendant, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, upholding the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained via the warrant (United States of America v. Kirk Cottom, No. 16-1050, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2789).

  • February 21, 2017

    Couple Cannot Pursue Personal Injury Claims From Spray Foam Fumes, Judge Rules

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 17 held that a couple could pursue claims that allegedly improper installation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation in their home resulted in property damage requiring remediation but that they failed to provide causation evidence to show that they suffered respiratory problems after being exposed to volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors from the products (Richard Beyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23434).

  • February 17, 2017

    Judge Restricts Expert From Testifying On Legal Conclusion To Detective’s Probable Cause

    TAMPA, Fla. — An expert may testify as to his knowledge of police procedures and investigative techniques and whether they were followed by a detective in his mortgage fraud investigation of a married couple, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 16; however, the expert may not testify as to the ultimate legal conclusion of whether probable cause existed (Ricky Shew and Frances Shew v. William Horvath, No. 16-766, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21748).

  • February 17, 2017

    Court Affirms Injury To Child Conviction, Finds Testimony On Head Trauma Reliable

    AUSTIN, Texas — Expert testimony from three medical doctors on the subject of abusive head trauma was reliable, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Feb. 15, upholding a woman’s conviction in a bench trial for first-degree-felony injury to a child after an infant under her care sustained serious internal head injuries (Jennifer Banner Wolfe v. The States of Texas, No. PD-0292-15, Texas App., Crim., 2017 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 215).

  • February 16, 2017

    Illinois Federal Judge Won’t Exclude Expert In Case About Bone-Lengthening Device

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 15 denied a motion by an orthopedic device manufacturer to exclude the testimony of a plaintiff expert about an alleged flaw in the device (Timothy Bellas v. Orthofix, Inc., No. 14-9623, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21166).

  • February 16, 2017

    Judge Says Trade Secret Damages Valuation Expert Testimony Will Be Allowed

    DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 13 adopted a special master’s recommendation that the testimony of a certain expert should not be excluded from a trade secrets damages suit (MSC.Software Corporation v. Altair Engineering, Inc., et al., No. 07-cv-12807, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19733).

  • February 16, 2017

    Judge: Securities Investment Adviser’s Opinion On Mortgage Lending Practices Is Barred

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Excluding a securities investment adviser’s testimony because he is not qualified as an expert on mortgage lending practices and policies, a North Carolina federal judge ruled Feb. 14 that genuine issues of fact exist concerning negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith claims against a bank to survive summary judgment (Paul B. Hetzel v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 13-236, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20293).

  • February 15, 2017

    Judge Finds Fact Issue On Police Officer’s Liability With Admission Of Expert Opinions

    MADISON, Wis. — Based on admitted opinions from police practices experts and forensic pathology experts, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Feb. 13 that what happened between a police officer and a deceased man is “sharply and genuinely disputed” and thus, whether the officer’s use of force was objectively unreasonable is an issue that must be resolved at trial (The Estate of Tony Robinson Jr., ex rel. personal representative Andrea Irwin v. The City of Madison, Wis., and Matthew Kenny, No. 15-502, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20733).

  • February 14, 2017

    Judge Bars Testimony On Education Lead-Generation Industry’s Customs, Practices

    TAMPA, Fla. — A lawyer is not qualified to opine on the educational lead-generation industry’s customs and practices because the lawyer failed to explain why her experience is a sufficient basis for her opinion and how her experience is reliably applied to the facts of a trade secrets and breach of contract case, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 13, excluding the testimony (Connectus LLC v. Ampush Media Inc., et al., No. 15-2778, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19829).

  • February 13, 2017

    Panel Affirms Conviction For Cocaine Possession, Finds Lack Of Objection To Testimony

    TOPEKA Kan. — Affirming a man’s conviction for possession of cocaine, the Kansas Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 10 that the man failed to timely object at trial to the admission of expert testimony and a lab report that both established that the white powdery substance discovered in his wallet was cocaine (State of Kansas v. Oscar C. Rodriguez-Mendez, No. No. 114,985, Kan. App., 2017 Kan. App. Unpub. LEXIS 82).

  • February 10, 2017

    Panel Finds No Error In Admission Of Medical Examiner’s Testimony

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Finding no error in the admission of a medical examiner’s testimony based on reliable evidence, a Texas appeals panel on Feb. 9 affirmed a woman’s conviction for injury to a child causing bodily injury (Smita Chakravarthy v. The State of Texas, No. 13-14-00086-CR, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1114).

  • February 9, 2017

    Federal Judge: Accident Reconstruction Expert’s Report Lacks Methodology

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — An insurer’s motor vehicle accident investigation and reconstruction expert failed to provide reliable methodology in his report concerning an automobile accident involving its insured, a Tennessee federal judge ruled Jan. 30, excluding the testimony (Will Neal Jr. v. John Fort, No. 15-0425, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12411).

  • February 9, 2017

    Couple: Expert’s Supplemental Report Clarified Remediation Plan, Costs

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A couple who claims that they suffered physical injuries and property damage as a result of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation in their home say in a brief filed Feb. 1 in Connecticut federal court that a supplemental report submitted by one of their experts should not be stricken from the record because it contains new information about the remediation plan for their home that was added to the report to clarify any ambiguities (Richard Beyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).

  • February 9, 2017

    Judge Bars Insurance Claims Consultant’s Opinions On If Insurer Acted ‘Unreasonably’

    DENVER — An insurance claims consultant may offer testimony about an auto insurer’s industry standards and practices but may not offer legal conclusions about whether the insurer acted “unreasonably” in its claims handling, a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 7, granting in part and denying in part the insurer’s motion to exclude the expert testimony (Donald O’Sullivan v. Geico Casualty Co., No. 15-1838, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17186).

  • February 9, 2017

    Panel Upholds Lanham Act Judgment Without Expert Testimony On Actual Injury

    RICHMOND, Va. — Without expert testimony, a seller of internet domain names could not establish the elements of its Lanham Act claim, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 8, finding that there was no evidence that the seller suffered an actual injury as a direct result of a competitor’s conduct (Verisign Inc. v. LLC and Daniel Negari, No. 15-2526, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2264).

  • February 8, 2017

    Judge Refuses To Bar Fire Investigators’ Opinions In Strict Products Liability Suit

    HOUSTON — In a strict products liability lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 declined to exclude testimonies from fire investigators because the expert opinions rely on acceptable methodology (Harris Caprock Communications Inc. v. Trippe Manufacturing Co. d/b/a Tripp Lite d/b/a Tripp Lite Holdings Inc., No. 15-0130, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16857).

  • February 6, 2017

    Judge Excludes Testimony On Inapplicable OSHA Regulation In Marine Negligence Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — In a negligence lawsuit an employee filed against his employer over injuries incurred on a boat, a Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 3 excluded a marine operations and safety expert from testifying about an inapplicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation to determine the standard of care (In the matter of M&M Wirelines & Offshore Services LLC, No. 15-4999, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15321).

  • February 6, 2017

    Oklahoma Federal Judge Bars Testimony In Aviation Products Liability Lawsuit

    TULSA, Okla. — In an aviation negligence and products liability lawsuit filed by two passengers, an Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 3 excluded an electrical expert’s opinion as to defects in an alternate landing gear system, as well as to the aircraft flight manual’s (AFM) instructions on that alternate landing gear system (James Rodgers, et al. v. Beechcraft Corp. f/k/a Hawker Beechcraft Corp., et al., No. 15-0129, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15372).