United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
WILLIAM B. CLARK, Plaintiff,
MATTHEW DJUKIC, DAMIAN MURKS; FRANCISCAN ALLIANCE, INC., d/b/a St. Margaret Mercy Hospital, and TOWN OF SCHERERVILLE, IN, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
T. MOODY JUDGE
William B. (“Billy”) Clark alleges that, after a
traffic stop, he consented to having his blood drawn at St.
Margaret's Hospital while in the custody of Schererville
police officers, to confirm his blood alcohol level. (DE #
1.) Clark further alleges that, after the blood draw, he was
forcibly catheterized against his will so that officers could
obtain a urine sample. (Id.) Clark sued, amongst
others, Franciscan Alliance, Inc. (“Franciscan”),
the company doing business as St. Margaret's, for
assault, battery, and failure to properly train its
retained Dr. Peter R. Martin (“Dr. Martin”) to
provide expert opinion testimony pertaining to the action.
(DE # 40.) Dr. Martin reviewed certain records and prepared a
document containing his conclusions. (DE # 39-1.)
Specifically, Dr. Martin opines as follows:
Billy Clark's ability to accurately perceive the events
of May 18-19, 2012 and to accurately recall them later was
severely hampered by the level of intoxication on May 18-19,
2012 resulting from his ingestion of alcohol, cocaine, THC,
amphetamine and benzodiazepines in combination with each
Opinion”) (DE # 39-1 at 2-3.)
moves to bar this opinion, pursuant to Federal Rule of
Evidence 702. (DE ## 39, 40.) Franciscan filed a response in
opposition to the motion (DE # 48), and plaintiff filed a
reply in support of the motion (DE # 50).
defendants Matthew Djukic, Damian Murks, and the Town of
Schererville filed a reply in support of their own motion for
summary judgment. (DE # 61.) The reply brief references Dr.
Martin's opinion, as stated above. (Id. at 2,
n.1.) Plaintiff then filed a second motion related to expert
testimony, asking the court to once again bar Dr. Martin from
expressing this specific opinion, and to prohibit all
defendants from offering the same opinion. (DE # 63.) No
response or reply was filed as to the second motion.
admissible, expert testimony must satisfy the conditions of
Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).
United States v. Parra, 402 F.3d 752, 758
(2005). Rule 702 provides:
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.
Daubert, the court must be satisfied, first, that
the expert can testify based on valid scientific,
technical or specialized knowledge, i.e., whether
the expert's testimony is reliable, and second, whether
that testimony will be of assistance to the trier of fact.
509 U.S. at 592; United States v. Welch, 368 F.3d
970, 973 (7th Cir. 2004); Ammons v. Aramark Uniform
Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 816 (7th Cir. 2004). The
reliability issue requires the court to determine whether the
expert is qualified in the relevant field and used a reliable
methodology to arrive at his or her conclusions. Zelinski
v. Columbia 300, Inc., 335 F.3d 633, 640 (7th Cir.
2003); Smith v. Ford Motor Co., 215 F.3d 713, 718
(7th Cir. 2000). A district court's inquiry under
Daubert is a flexible one, and therefore the court
has wide latitude in performing this gate-keeping function
and determining whether the expert testimony is reliable.
Bielskis v. Louisville Ladder, Inc., 663 F.3d 887,
894 (7th Cir. 2011).
concedes that Dr. Martin has the educational credentials to
qualify as an expert. (DE # 40 at 3.) However, he contends
that Dr. Martin's opinion is unreliable, because it is
based on insufficient data and speculation. (See id.
at 3-4.) On May 19, 2012, Plaintiff's blood was drawn,
resulting in a .073 reading for alcohol, and his urine tested
positive for amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and THC.
(DE ## 48 at 3, 48-2.) Dr. Martin purports to base his
opinion, at least in part, on these results. (See DE
# 39-1 at 2-3.) Plaintiff does not argue that the results are
illegitimate; rather, he argues that Dr. Martin's opinion
is not properly based on the data. (See DE # 40.)
to Dr. Martin's own deposition testimony, the urine test
does not indicate whether the drugs (amphetamines,
benzodiazepines, cocaine, and THC) were ingested on Saturday,
May 19, 2012, Friday, May 18, 2012, or Thursday, May 17,
2012. (See DE # 39-2 at 12-14.) Nevertheless, in his
opinion, Dr. Martin asserts that plaintiff's ability to
perceive and recall events was impacted by taking all of
these drugs (and alcohol) “in combination with each
other.” (DE # 39-1 at 3.) Given his own testimony, Dr.
Martin appears to be speculating that the drugs and alcohol