United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
C. NORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following matter is before the court on plaintiff Tiffany
Purvis's (“Purvis”) motion to exclude
defendants' expert, ECF No. 26; defendants Marvin Bryant
(“Bryant”) and 807999 Ontario Ltd's, doing
business as Royal Tanklines (“Royal Tanklines”),
(collectively, “defendants”) motion to compel
Purvis's medical authorizations, ECF No. 27; and
defendants' motion to compel or exclude Purvis's
expert, ECF No. 29. For the reasons set forth below, the
court denies Purvis's motion to exclude defendants'
expert, denies defendants' motion to compel or exclude
Purvis's expert, and finds moot defendant's motion to
compel medical authorizations.
case arises out of a car accident. On April 11, 2015, Purvis
was driving northbound in the second to right-hand lane of
Interstate 95. Bryant was driving a tractor trailer alongside
Purvis in the right-hand lane of Interstate 95. Bryant is
employed by Royal Tanklines. Purvis alleges that Bryant drove
into Purvis's lane of traffic, striking Purvis's car
and causing her car to careen into a ditch. Purvis was
injured and trapped in her car for a period of time before
emergency personnel could rescue her.
filed suit on April 4, 2017 in the Court of Common Pleas for
Jasper County, South Carolina, alleging that Bryant was
negligent in operating the tractor trailer and that Royal
Tanklines failed to properly train Byrant and negligently
entrusted the tractor trailer with him. Defendants removed
the case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction on
June 12, 2017. On September 11, 2018, Purvis filed a motion
to exclude defendants' expert witness, ECF No. 26, to
which defendants responded, ECF No. 28. Then defendants filed
a motion to compel Purvis's medical authorizations on
September 21, 2018, ECF No. 27. Purvis provided the
authorizations on September 28, 2018, making the motion moot.
Defendants also filed a motion to compel the deposition of
Purvis's expert or to exclude Purvis's expert on
October 2, 2018, ECF No. 29, to which Purvis responded, ECF
No. 33, and defendants replied, ECF No. 34. The motions to
exclude the experts are ripe for review.
Motion to Exclude Defendants' Expert
seeks to exclude the opinion of defendants' expert, G.
Wayne Maltry (“Maltry”). Maltry works in accident
reconstruction and concluded that Purvis caused the collision
between Purvis and Bryant. Purvis argues that Maltry did not
review all of the relevant evidence before coming to his
opinion, and as such his opinion was based on insufficient
facts and formed through unreliable principles and methods.
Specifically, Purvis argues Maltry's opinion should be
excluded because (1) Maltry did not consider Purvis's
deposition testimony or Bryant's driver repair,
pre-inspection or post-inspection reports when forming his
causation opinion; (2) Maltry did not consider Bryant's
reports when forming his standard of care opinion; and (3)
defendants' counsel did not provide Maltry with the
deposition testimony or reports, making Maltry a
“mouthpiece of a filtered version of events.” ECF
No. 26 at 10. In response, defendants explain that in his
deposition, Maltry stated that he finds physical evidence to
be more reliable than testimony, and based on the physical
evidence and his mathematical calculations, the only way he
could reconstruct the accident was in the manner he described
in his report, with Purvis being the cause. Defendants also
note that Maltry explained why reviewing Bryant's reports
would likely not have affected his opinion.
Rule of Evidence 702 provides:
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 ...