Sunday, May 15, 2005

8th Circuit Upholds Exclusion of Testimony on Future Damages in Manufacturer's Suit Against Supplier

The Eighth Circuit has published an opinion upholding the trial court's exclusion of expert damage testimony offered by a manufacturer in its suit against one of its suppliers. The supplier's pigment turned out to be unsuitable for use in the manufacturer's outdoor PVC fencing product. To honor its product warranties, the manufacturer was obligated to replace the fencing when consumers complained that the color had faded. The manufacturer's expert estimated future damages based on the assumption that every last bit of defectively pigmented fencing already sold would be subject to warranty claims. The testimony was excluded for lack of fit, because it did not account for record evidence suggesting that warranty claims would be made for only a fraction of the fencing. See Nebraska Plastics, Inc. v. Holland Colors Americas, Inc., No. 04-2035 (8th Cir. May 13, 2005) (Arnold, Bowman, & Gruender, JJ.).


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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.