United States District Court, D. Utah
SCOTT K. MARLAND and JENNIFER D. MARLAND, as conservators for the minor child, J.S.M., Plaintiffs,
ASPLUNDH TREE EXPERT CO., a Pennsylvania corporation, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE THE
TESTIMONY OF PLAINTIFFS' EXPERTS THAT J.S.M. WILL NEED
TWENTY ADDITIONAL SURGERIES AND LASER THERAPY IN THE
STEWART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Exclude the Testimony of Plaintiffs' Experts that J.S.M.
will need Twenty Additional Surgeries and Laser Therapy in
the Future. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will
grant the Motion in part and deny it in part.
have retained Sheryl Wainwright, a registered nurse and
certified life care planner, to develop a life care plan for
J.S.M. and to estimate the costs of his future needs. That
life care plan includes, in pertinent part, $740, 669.60 for
an additional twenty surgeries and $278, 250.00 for laser
therapy treatments after those surgeries. Defendant argues
that no medical evidence supports these treatments and seeks
exclusion of testimony related to them.
Rule of Evidence 702 states:
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
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
702 imposes a gatekeeper obligation on the Court to
“ensure that any and all scientific testimony or
evidence admitted is not only relevant, but
reliable.” The Court must fulfill its gatekeeping
duty by making specific findings on the record.
“Specifically, the court must first determine whether
an expert is qualified by knowledge, skill, experience,
training, or education to render an opinion. Second, if the
court determines that a witness is qualified, it must then
determine whether her opinions are
TWENTY ADDITIONAL SURGERIES
is axiomatic that an expert, no matter how good his
credentials, is not permitted to
speculate.” Defendant contends that there are not
sufficient facts to support Ms. Wainwright's life care
plan costs associated with ...