Evidence keyed to Mueller
Kumho Tire Co v. Carmichael
The Respondents sued the Petitioners alleging that a tire defect caused the blowout which led to an accident killing one and injuring others. A significant portion of the case rested on the depositions of a tire failure analyst, Dennis Carlson, Jr. (“Mr. Carlson”). Mr. Carlson intended to testify that in his expert opinion a defect in the tire’s manufacture or design caused the blow out. His opinion was based on a visual and tactile inspection of the tire, and upon a theory that this sort of tire failure was the result of a defect, and not tire abuse. The Petitioners moved to exclude Mr. Carlson’s testimony on the ground that his methodology failed to satisfy F.R.E. Rule 702, which states: “If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact…a witness qualified as an expert…may testify thereto in the form of opinion.” The District Court granted the Petitioner’s summary judgment motion arguing that in examining the factors set out in Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mr. Carlson’s methodology is not reliable. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (“Eleventh Circuit”) reversed, and held that the District Court erred as a matter of law in applying Daubert, and held that the Daubert factors did not apply to Mr. Carlson’s testimony.
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