Thursday, December 04, 2003

10th Circuit Affirms Exclusion of Engineer's Testimony re Design Defect

In a published November 28 decision, the Tenth Circuit has affirmed the trial court's exclusion of testimony from a mechanical engineer, Dr. R.K. Tessman, that the aerial lift on a boom truck was defectively designed. The engineer had no previous experience designing aerial lifts, nor any education or experience relating to them. Nor had his proposed design been tested or published. The decision is not yet available at the Tenth Circuit's site or on Findlaw. See Vanover v. Altec Indus., Inc., No. 03-5016 (10th Cir. Nov. 28, 2003) (Tacha, Anderson, & Henry, JJ.). Update: The opinion is posted now. Here's the link. Further update: We were mistaken in saying that the opinion is published. It is not.
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.