United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Speedway's Motion to
Exclude Testimony from Plaintiff's Expert H. Richard
Hicks, P.E. [DE 26], filed by Defendant on August 23, 2019.
Defendant seeks to exclude portions of the testimony of
Plaintiff's expert, H. Richard Hicks. Plaintiff filed a
belated response on September 19, 2019, see N.D.
Ind. L.R. 7-1(d)(3), and on September 26, 2019, Defendant
filed a reply.
Tayell Leftridge filed her Complaint on February 21, 2017, in
state court, alleging that Defendant Speedway is liable for
injuries she suffered when she slipped and fell on a wet
floor at one of their stores in Hobart, Indiana. The case was
removed to this Court on February 15, 2018, on the basis of
designated H. Richard Hicks, a professional engineer, as an
expert witness. He investigated the incident and prepared a
report detailing his findings. Defendant now seeks to have
much of his testimony excluded from presentation at trial.
parties filed forms of consent to have this case assigned to
a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all further
proceedings and to order the entry of a final judgment in
this case. Therefore, this Court has jurisdiction to decide
this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule
of Evidence 702 and the standards set forth by the United
States Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). See
Ervin v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc., 492 F.3d 901, 904
(7th Cir. 2007). Rule 702 provides that courts should admit
expert testimony 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
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702 (emphasis added).
contends that Hicks's opinion will not assist the trier
of fact in this case because the subject of his testimony,
the idea that a wet floor may present a slipping hazard, is
within the understanding of the average juror, and the
concepts of mopping safety are common sense. It argues that
Hicks's opinions do not come from specialized knowledge,
but merely from the common understanding that a floor may be
slippery when wet, and that slippery floors may present a
fall hazard. Defendant argues that the testimony therefore
will not help the jury understand the evidence ...