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United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
June 10, 1999, Argued ; July 28, 1999, Decided ; July 28, 1999, Filed
[***2] [*494] OPINION
KENNEDY, Circuit Judge. Plaintiffs Nancy Robin Greenwell, individually and as Executrix of the [**2] Estate of Richard W. Greenwell appeal the district court's denial of their Motion to Strike the Testimony of Kenneth Razak, defendant KLLM, Inc.'s accident reconstructionist, their Motion for a Directed Verdict as to Liability and their Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or Alternatively a New Trial. Plaintiffs request that we remand this case and order the district court to enter a judgment against the defendants on the [***3] issue of liability. In the alternative, plaintiffs request that we vacate the district court's judgment and remand the case for a new trial, with instructions that the district court judge hold a Dauberthearing as to the admissibility of the expert testimony. Although the Plaintiffs raise many issues on appeal, the essence of this legal dispute turns on the admissibility of the testimony of Kenneth Razak, KLLM, Inc.'s accident reconstructionist. Because we believe the district court did not err in admitting the expert testimony, we AFFIRM the district court.
I. Facts and Procedural History
Plaintiffs and defendant Boatwright were involved in an auto accident on July 27, 1994 in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Plaintiffs were traveling southbound [**3] on I-265, as was Boatwright, when a collision occurred causing the plaintiffs' pickup truck to move from the left, across the expressway, into the right hand guardrail. Defendant Boatwright's Peterbilt truck also came to rest on the right hand side of the road. As a result of this accident Richard Greenwell was killed, Nancy Greenwell was slightly injured, and the plaintiffs' truck incurred major property damage. Plaintiffs filed a wrongful death and personal injury action against Boatwright, KLLM, Inc., who had an agency agreement with Boatwright, and Callis, the owner of the Peterbilt truck.
At trial defendant KLLM, Inc., introduced the testimony of an accident reconstructionist expert, Kenneth Razak. Prior to the expert's testimony, plaintiffs filed a Motion in Limine to exclude a videotape re-enactment of the accident and the expert's testimony. Because defendant KLLM, Inc., chose not to offer the videotape into evidence, the district court judge did not rule on this motion. The plaintiffs renewed their objection to the expert testimony at trial. The district court judge, however, allowed the expert to testify. During the course of this testimony, plaintiffs' counsel objected [**4] to a statement by the expert that focused on the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Although the district court judge [***4] permitted defendant Boatwright's counsel to pursue this line of questioning, he did not. At the end of the [*495] evidence, plaintiffs made a Motion to Strike the Testimony of the expert and a Motion for a Directed Verdict as to Liability. Both motions were denied by the district court judge and the case was sent to the jury. The jury returned a verdict finding no liability for the defendants. Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or Alternatively a New Trial, which was denied by the district court judge. This appeal followed.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
184 F.3d 492 *; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 17757 **; 1999 FED App. 0275P (6th Cir.) ***; 52 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 99
Nancy Robin Greenwell, individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Richard W. Greenwell, Plaintiff-Appellant (98-5722), State Auto Insurance Company, Intervening Plaintiff-Appellant (98-5721), v. David L. Boatwright; Patricia Callis; KLLM, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.
Subsequent History: Rehearing En Banc Denied October 8, 1999, Reported at: 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 26480.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky at Louisville. No. 94-00614. Charles R. Simpson, III, Chief District Judge.
Disposition: AFFIRMED district court's judgment dismissing all claims against the defendants.
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Criminal Law & Procedure, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Evidence, Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Abuse of Discretion, Procedural Matters, Rulings on Evidence, Testimony, Expert Witnesses, General Overview, Harmless & Invited Errors, Harmless Error Rule, Judicial Officers, Judges, Daubert Standard, Preliminary Questions, Scientific Evidence, Standards for Admissibility, Types of Evidence, Exemptions, Statements by Party Opponents, Judicial Admissions, Mere Estimates & Opinions, De Novo Review, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Inferences & Presumptions, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Motions for New Trials