Friday, February 27, 2004

How They Do It in Texas

In a missive from Jim Dedman, of, we learn of a Texas Court of Appeals decision reprising Kumho Tire. The plaintiff in the Texas case died when his vehicle rolled over after a tread separated from a tire. Surviving family members sued Goodyear, alleging a manufacturing defect. The jury returned a verdict for plaintiffs, but the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that plaintiffs' expert evidence was unreliable and improperly admitted. As in Kumho Tire, the court observed that tactile inspection of the tire might be an appropriate method for determining the cause of failure in general, but that plaintiffs had not established the reliability of the specific procedures employed by this particular expert. See Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Rios, No. 04-02-00574-CV (Tex. App. San Antonio Feb. 25, 2004).

Texas basically follows Daubert, with a couple of additional "factors" thrown in. So this outcome probably should not be viewed with astonishment.
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.