United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following motion is before the Court: Motion to
Exclude/ Limit the Testimony of Calum McRae (Rec. Doc.
39) filed by Plaintiff, Marlene Collett. Defendant
GEICO Casualty Co. opposes the motion. The motion, submitted
on October 4, 2017, is before the Court on the briefs without
parties have stipulated that plaintiff Marlene Collett and
defendant Jonathan Morgan were involved in an automobile
accident on February 10, 2016. Morgan was solely at fault for
causing the accident. At the time of the accident, the Ford
truck driven by Morgan was insured by policies of insurance
issued by defendant GEICO. (Rec. Doc. 36, Joint
Stipulations). This case will be tried to a jury on November
27, 2017, as to medical causation and damages. (Rec. Doc. 12,
seeks via this motion in limine to exclude or at least limit
the testimony of Calum McRae, Ph.D., who GEICO retained to
offer an opinion that the subject accident did not cause
Collett's physical injuries. Collett argues that McRae is
attempting to testify as to issues of medical causation which
he is not qualified to provide given that he is not a
answer to this contention is that McRae is not offering
opinions regarding diagnosis or treatment, which would be
medical in nature. Rather McRae proposes to testify whether a
causal relationship exists between Collett's cervical
spine injuries and the subject incident, which would be
biomechanical in nature.
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 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; the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
methods; and the expert has reliably applied the principles
and methods to the facts of the case. Fed.R.Evid. 702.
Pursuant to the principles of Daubert v. Merrell Dow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), the district
court acts as gatekeeper to prevent prejudice from unreliable
scientific expert testimony. The district court has the
discretion to exclude expert testimony that is unnecessary
because the jury can adeptly assess the situation using its
own common sense and knowledge. Peters v. Five Star
Marine Serv., 898 F.2d 448, 450 (5th Cir.
1990). The proponent of expert testimony bears the burden of
establishing its admissibility by a preponderance of the
evidence. See United States v. Griffith, 118 F.3d
318, 323 (5th Cir. 1997).
Court agrees with Collett's contention that McRae's
proposed testimony goes beyond the area of expertise that
McRae is qualified to testify about. Merely suffusing the lengthy
report in terms of “biomechanical” expertise does
not solve the problem. Collett recognizes that McRae may be
qualified to give an opinion regarding the amount of force
that he believes was generated by the accident and the
observed effect of such force on a hypothetical human body in
a comparable accident. (Rec. Doc. 39-1, Memorandum in Support
at 11). McRae will therefore be allowed to testify as such.
But McRae will not be allowed to opine as to whether the
specific injuries and back conditions that Collett has were
caused by the accident in this case. In other words, McRae
will not be allowed to opine as to specific causation in this
case and the motion in limine is granted in this
respect. A Daubert hearing is not
and for the foregoing reasons;
IS ORDERED that the Motion to Exclude/ Limit
the Testimony of Calum McRae (Rec. Doc. 39) filed by
Plaintiff, Marlene Collett is GRANTED IN PART AND
DENIED IN PART as explained above.
 Collett has requested oral argument
but the parties' memoranda are sufficient.
 Further, the surfeit of footnotes that
McRae included in his report citing to outside publications,
ostensibly to establish reliability, raise the specter that
some of McRae's conclusions are foundered ...