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.

Gulf States Protective Coatings, Inc. v. Caldwell Tanks, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

February 20, 2018

GULF STATES PROTECTIVE COATINGS, INC. PLAINTIFF
v.
CALDWELL TANKS, INC., et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH H. MCKINLEY, JR., CHIEF JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Caldwell Tanks, Inc.'s Motion to Partially Exclude Opinion Testimony by Jeffrey Katz [DN 38]. Fully briefed, this matter is ripe for decision. For the following reasons, Caldwell Tank, Inc.'s Motion is GRANTED.

         I. Background

         This case arises from a series of subcontract agreements between Gulf States Protective Coatings, Inc. (“Gulf States”) and Caldwell Tanks, Inc. (“Caldwell Tanks”). Caldwell Tanks was hired to construct, furnish, and install three 1, 000, 000-gallon elevated water storage tanks in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. In the course of this project, Caldwell Tanks entered into three separate subcontract agreements with Gulf States. In those subcontracts, Gulf States agreed to perform work on each of the water storage tanks, specifically sandblasting, priming, and cleaning the tanks “to ensure final completion of the work.” (Amend. Compl. ¶ 11.)

         Quickly, the relationship of the parties deteriorated. Ultimately, Caldwell Tanks terminated the contracts. Gulf States filed this lawsuit seeking payment for the work it performed. Caldwell Tanks counterclaimed seeking damages for costs it incurred completing the work Gulf States did not finish.

         As part of their expert disclosures, Gulf States revealed that it intended to use the expert testimony of Jeffrey Katz. (Expert Disclosures [DN 35] at 2.) Caldwell Tanks seeks to exclude portions of Katz's testimony, specifically Katz's opinions that (1) Caldwell's failure to pay Gulf States was a material breach of the subcontracts; and (2) Gulf States was entitled to an extension of time to perform its work due to inclement weather encountered while Gulf States was working on the project that constitute excusable delays. (Mem. in Support of Mot. to Partially Exclude [DN 38-1] at 3.)

         II. Standard of Review

         Fed. R. Evid. 702 permits opinion testimony by witnesses who are sufficiently qualified to testify as experts:

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 upon sufficient facts or data; (c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (d) the witness has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 702. The Sixth Circuit has interpreted Rule 702 so as to impose three requirements for expert testimony:

First, the witness must be qualified by “knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education.” Fed.R.Evid. 702. Second, the testimony must be relevant, meaning that it “will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Id. Third, the testimony must be reliable. Id.

In re Scrap Metal Antitrust Litig., 527 F.3d 517, 528-29 (6th Cir. 2008).

         In determining whether testimony is reliable, the Court's focus “must be solely on principles and methodology, not on the conclusions they generate.” Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 595 (1993). The Supreme Court identified a non-exhaustive list of factors that may help the Court in assessing the reliability of a proposed expert's opinion, including: (1) whether a theory or technique can be or has been tested; (2) whether the theory has been subjected to peer review and publication; (3) whether the technique has a known or potential error rate; and (4) whether the theory or technique enjoys “general acceptance” within a “relevant scientific community.” Id. at 592-94. Yet, these Daubert facts “are not dispositive in every case and should be applied only where they are reasonable measures of the reliability of expert testimony.” In re Scrap Metal, 527 at 529 (internal quotation marks omitted). The purpose of the rule is “to make certain that an expert, whether basing testimony upon professional studies or personal experience, employs in the courtroom the same level of intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field.” Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 152 (1999). “Red flags that caution against certifying an expert include reliance on anecdotal evidence, improper extrapolation, failure to consider other possible causes, lack of testing, and subjectivity.” Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. v. Raymond Corp., 676 F.3d 521, 527 (6th Cir. 2012).

         Additionally, Fed.R.Evid. 704 has also made clear that “[a]n opinion is not objectionable just because it embraces an ultimate issue.” However, this inclusion of opinions that go to the ultimate issue in a case “does not lower the bars ...


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.