The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard P. Conaboy United States District Judge
Here the Court considers "Defendants' Motion in Limine, or Alternatively, Request for a Daubert Hearing to Preclude the Testimony of Mariusz Ziejewski" (Doc. 119). Defendants argue Dr. Ziejewski's opinions exceed the scope of his expertise, lack a reliable factual foundation, and lack scientific reliability. Because of this, Defendants move to preclude him from offering into evidence any testimony, reports or opinions at trial.
This matter was fully briefed by the parties' and the Court heard testimony and additional argument at a Daubert hearing on May 19, 2009, where the parties examined Dr. Ziejewski and made additional argument. This matter is therefore ripe for disposition. For the reasons discussed below, this motion is denied.
This case arises from a vehicle accident involving the commercial tractor trailer driven by Gregory Wirfel ("Defendant Wirfel") and the 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by James Burke ("Plaintiffs").*fn1 At all times relative to this accident, Defendant Wirfel was employed by TransAm Trucking, Inc. ("Defendant "TransAm"). Plaintiffs allege Defendant Wirfel and Defendant TransAm (collectively referred to as "Defendants") are liable to them for damages resulting from the accident.
Plaintiffs obtained the services of Dr. Ziejewski, a biomechanic, in order to determine if the forces exerted on Plaintiff in this accident were sufficient to cause injuries. (Doc. 119-3). Dr. Ziejewski reviewed the following materials prior to forming the opinions and conclusions expressed in the report:
(1) police report; (2) complaint; (3) witness statement of Jeff Jennings; (4) witness statement of Richard Henry; (5) PA EMS report; (6) medical records from Geisinger Medical Center; (7) medical records of Dr. Terrence Duffy; (8) medical records of Dr. Mark Racziewicz; (9) medical records of Valley Open MRI; (10) deposition of Nick Paolello; (13) IME report of Dr. John Della Rosa; (14) deposition and exhibits of Officer Thomas Szoke; and (15) photographs. (Id.)
Dr. Ziejewski also obtained the vehicle parameters for a 2000
Ford Ranger (Plaintiff's vehicle) and a 2005 Freightliner (Defendants' Tractor Trailer); obtained and measured an exemplar 2000 Ford Ranger; performed laboratory compression testing; performed vehicle dynamics analysis; utilized Armstrong Laboratory/Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AL/WPAFB) computer program to analyze this data; determined the geometric and mass properties of Plaintiff's body segments and joint locations and range of motion characteristics using the Generator of Body Data (GEBOD) AL/WPAFB computer program and performed dynamic analysis for the collision using this program. (Id.)
After conducting his analysis and testing, and reviewing numerous articles and studies, Dr. Ziejewski came to the following conclusions "within a reasonable degree of biomechanical engineering certainty:"
(1) the forces on James Burke's head resulting from the collision on April 10, 2006 were sufficient to cause a brain injury;
(2) the forces on James Burke's cervical region resulting from the collision on April 10, 2006 were sufficient to cause a cervical region injury;
(3) the results from the biomechanical analysis of the collision on April 10, 2006 involving James Burke are consistent with the medical opinions and findings indicating a brain injury; and
(4) the results from the biomechanical analysis of the collision on April 10, 2006 involving James Burke are consistent with the medical opinions and findings ...