Thursday, March 18, 2004

8th Circuit Reverses Decision to Admit Economist's Opinion on Antitrust Damages

The Eighth Circuit has reversed the trial court's decision admitting an economist's testimony on damages in an antitrust case arising under section 1 of the Sherman Act. The expert was qualified, according to the panel, but his opinion was unhelpful to the trier of fact, because it failed to "incorporate all aspects of the economic reality," such as how the emergence of competitors affected the rate of growth of plaintiff's profits. The panel left open the possibility that the expert could offer a revised opinion, using an appropriate rule of reason analysis, on remand. See Craftsmen Limousine, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., No. 03-1441 (8th Cir. Mar. 15, 2004) (Melloy, Lay, & Smith, 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.