On July 19, in re: Gregory Call vs. Pure Earth, et al, the Third Circuit reversed a district court’s ruling that excluded expert witness testimony based on Daubert grounds. The matter was remanded for a new trial on damages. Although the Third Circuit addressed the specifics of this case in a manner that probably is of little interest generally, the case provides a worthwhile reminder as to the standard for admissibility of expert testimony. The Third Circuit’s Opinion included:
“Rule 702 provides that a witness may be qualified to testify as to his expert opinion if his ―scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue. Rule 702 and Daubert require a district court to ensure that expert testimony is not only relevant, but reliable. As we have made clear, the reliability analysis [required by Daubert] applies to all aspects of an expert‘s testimony: the methodology, the facts underlying the expert‘s opinion, [and] the link between the facts and the conclusion. The standard for determining reliability is not that high Thus, plaintiffs offering expert testimony do not have to prove their case twice – they do not have to demonstrate to the judge by a preponderance of the evidence that the assessments of their experts are correct, they only have to demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that their opinions are reliable.” [Citations omitted, Emphasis added]
Too many courts are inappropriately requiring – just as the Third Circuit said is not necessary – for parties to win the case twice.
This article summarizes the number and type of Daubert challenges.