Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Expert Precluded By Court Due to Lack of Sufficient Qualifications to Testify on the Issues Presented

In the case of McConn v. Dollar General Corporation, No. 2:-21-CV-01177-MJH (W.D. Pa. Dec. 19, 2022 Horan, J.), the court addressed a Defendant’s Motion under Daubert to preclude the opinion testimony of the Plaintiff’s purported retail safety expert in a case in which the Plaintiff was allegedly injured when a number of books allegedly fell upon her after she removed a jammed book from the bookshelf.

The court granted the F.R.E. 702 Motion in this case after finding that the Plaintiff’s expert lacked any relevant qualifications to testify as to issues of retail safety.

The court noted that the proposed expert of the Plaintiff had no academic background, no former training, and no retail work experience in the last fifty (50) years.

The court noted that the fact that the expert had reviewed the store’s manuals could not create expertise.

The court also noted that the expert failed to identify any industry standards with the shelving of books at a retail store. The “standards” referenced in the expert report were neither industry standards nor the Defendant store’s standards.

In the end, the court found that claimed experience by an expert does not make testimony admissible where the testimony lacks any independent indicia of reliability.

The court also noted that the bases that the expert cited for his opinion were contradicted by the facts of the case.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney James M. Beck of the Philadelphia office of the Reed Smith law firm for bringing this case to my attention.

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