Wednesday, February 25, 2004

5th Circuit Holds Challenged Damages Testimony Did Not Affect Verdict

In a trade secrets case, the Fifth Circuit has declined to overrule the district court's decision admitting lost-profits testimony from two of the plaintiff's experts, because the testimony had no impact on the verdict. The panel did not reach the issue of the testimony's reliability, because the relatively small size of the jury's $2.2 million award, in comparison with the $25 million in lost profits claimed, indicated that the jury considered and rejected the entire lost-profits analysis, awarding only development costs. See Dresser-Rand Co. v. Virtual Automation, Inc., No. 02-20834 (5th Cir. Feb. 23, 2004) (DeMoss, Dennis, & Prado, JJ.).
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.