United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
LISA N. BOSTICK, Plaintiff,
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
VIRGINIA M. HERNANDEZ COVINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court pursuant to Defendant State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company's Motion to Strike
Certain Expert Opinions and Testimony of Robert W. Johnson
and James A. Mills (Doc. # 51), filed May 4, 2017. Plaintiff
Lisa N. Bostick filed a Response in Opposition to
Defendant's Daubert Motion on June 5, 2017.
(Doc. # 62). State Farm filed a Reply Memorandum on June 19,
2017. (Doc. # 69). For the reasons that follow, the Court
denies the Motion.
filed the Complaint in state court against State Farm seeking
payment of underinsured motorist benefits related to a car
accident that occurred on November 14, 2013. (Doc. # 2). The
case was removed by State Farm on June 2, 2016, based on
complete diversity of citizenship. (Doc. # 1).
29, 2016, the Court entered its Case Management and
Scheduling Order setting December 19, 2016, as Bostick's
deadline to disclose expert reports. (Doc. # 13). Later,
Bostick filed an Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to
Complete Discovery, which was granted, and her expert
disclosure deadline was extended to February 14, 2017. (Doc.
has retained economic experts, Robert W. Johnson and James A.
Mills, of Robert W. Johnson & Associates, to offer expert
testimony at trial. (Doc. # 51). On February 13, 2017,
Bostick disclosed Johnson and Mills' “Economic
Impact Report” to State Farm. (Doc. # 51-1). Both
experts utilized the same methodology in their calculations
and jointly prepared the report. (Id.). The report
contains the economists' opinions about two types of
damages: (1) the value of Bostick's future medical
expenses and life care needs; and (2) the expected value of
Bostick's future lost income. (Id.).
juncture, State Farm seeks an Order striking Johnson and
Mills' opinions concerning Bostick's future lost
earnings or loss of earning capacity on the grounds that
“those opinions are not based on sufficient facts or
data.” (Doc. # 51 at 6). State Farm explains in its
reply, “Defendant's motion to strike (Doc. 51) only
seeks this Court to enter an order striking Johnson and
Mills' opinions related to the expected value of
Plaintiff's future lost income.” (Doc. # 69 at 1).
Rules of Evidence Rule 702, which governs the admissibility
of expert testimony, states that:
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 methods; and (d) the expert has reliably applied the
principles and methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702.
party raises an objection to an expert's testimony, the
Court must perform its gatekeeping duties to determine
whether the expert testimony “is not only relevant, but
reliable.” Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., 509
U.S. 579, 589 (1993). When deciding Daubert issues,
the trial judge has broad discretion in how the review is
conducted. Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael,
526 U.S. 137, 152 (1999). Usually, “the rejection of
expert testimony is the exception rather than the
rule.” See Advisory Committee Notes to the
2000 Amendment to Rule 702.
Eleventh Circuit has adopted a three-part analysis for
determining whether expert testimony is admissible under
Daubert and Rule 702:
To fulfill their obligation under Daubert, district
courts must engage in a rigorous inquiry to determine
whether: (1) the expert is qualified to testify competently
regarding the matters he intends to address; (2) the
methodology by which the expert reaches his conclusions is
sufficiently reliable as determined by the sort of inquiry
mandated in Daubert; and (3) the testimony assists
the trier of fact, through the application of ...