Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Apex Colors, Inc. v. Chemworld International Limited, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division

July 9, 2018

APEX COLORS, INC. Plaintiff,
v.
CHEMWORLD INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, INC., CHEMWORLD INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, LLC, ATUL MODI, MANOJ MODI, and PAUL BYKOWSKI, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          PAUL R. CHERRY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on (1) Defendants' First Motion to Prohibit Jack A. Ladson from Offering Expert Opinions on Probability or Plausibility [DE 619], filed by all the Defendants on May 13, 2018, (2) Defendants' Second Motion to Prohibit Jack A. Ladson from Offering Certain Expert Opinions Regarding the Standards Used at Finos, LLC [DE 621], filed by all the Defendants on May 13, 2018, and Defendants' Third Motion to Prohibit Jack A. Ladson from Offering Certain Expert Opinions Regarding the Sophistication and Certificates of Analysis Issued by Chemworld [DE 623], filed by all the Defendants on May 14, 2018. Plaintiff Apex Colors, Inc. (“Apex”) filed its response briefs on June 15, 2018. Defendants filed their reply briefs on June 23 and 24, 2018.

         These motions are governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). See Krik v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 870 F.3d 669, 673 (7th Cir. 2017). Rule 702 provides:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

Fed. R. Evid. 702. In addition, Federal Rule of Evidence 403 provides that a “court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of . . . unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.” Fed.R.Evid. 403.

         Rule 702 is interpreted by the United States Supreme Court as “a flexible standard that boils down to two over-arching requirements for expert witness testimony, ” namely that the “expert testimony must be ‘ground[ed] in the methods and procedures of science' and must ‘assist the trier of fact to understand or determine a fact in issue.'” Krik, 870 F.3d at 674 (quoting Daubert, 509 U.S. at 590-02). In its role as an evidentiary gatekeeper, a trial judge must make a preliminary assessment that the testimony's underlying reasoning or methodology is scientifically valid and properly applies to the facts at issue. Id. (citing Daubert, 509 U.S. at 592-93).

         In this judicial circuit, to determine the reliability of a qualified expert's testimony under Daubert, the trial judge considers, among other things, “(1) whether the proffered theory can be and has been tested; (2) whether the theory has been subjected to peer review; (3) whether the theory has been evaluated in light of potential rates of error; and (4) whether the theory has been accepted in the relevant scientific community.” Id. (quoting Baugh v. Cuprum S.A. de C.V., 845 F.3d 838, 844 (7th Cir. 2017); Smith v. Ford Motor Co., 215 F.3d 713, 719 (7th Cir. 2000)). The factors are to be applied “flexibly as the case requires.” Id. (citing United States v. Brumley, 217 F.3d 905, 911 (2000)).

         On October 20, 2017, Apex served the 103-page expert report of Jack A. Ladson, of Color Science Consultancy. Defendants have filed three separate motions, each seeking to bar a different opinion of Mr. Ladson. The Court considers each motion in turn.

         A. Defendants' First Motion

         In this motion, Defendants seek an order barring the admission of Mr. Ladson's opinions or conclusions (1) regarding the plausibility or probability that two sets of Certificates of Analysis tested against the same standard, years apart, could yield identical test results and (2) parroting Brian West's inadmissible opinion testimony.

         In Section III.1.A of his expert report, Mr. Ladson sets forth the topic to be addressed: “The plausibility that two sets of Certificates of Analysis, or COAs, tested against the same standard, but different lots tested against those standards years apart, could yield identical test results.” (ECF 620-1, p. 30). In an initial response to the topic, Mr. Ladson opines generally: “The possibility of two COAs, tested against the same standard and different or the same lots separated in time, some years apart, having identical color values is practically non-existent. In statistical language the probability of this occurrence diminishingly approaches zero (0).” Id.

         Then Mr. Ladson states that he examined “55 COAs issued by Finos or Apex and Chemworld from this case. 16 of the comparisons, consisting of 33 COAs, were exactly the same in time stamp, lot number and measurement fields.” Id. In his report, Mr. Ladson describes the method he used to compare the COAs, including the assumptions in the question posed, and identifies the “two or three measurements that qualify for a product whose color values are identical.” Id. at pp. 30-36. Mr. Ladson opines under the heading “Conclusion I”:

In industry when examples of identical pertinent data like this are seen, the data are deemed to be fraudulent and referred to as being created or a common expression is “dry-labbed.”
More specifically, the data contained within the COAs issued by Chemworld are copies, or cut and paste, or otherwise taken directly from the original data contained in the COAs issued by FINOS and/or Apex.
Thus, Mr. West is correct when he stated in his deposition at Page 84, Lines 5 to 8, “ . . . you couldn't get the same exact numbers. So, this is - this - one ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.