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Louis A. Damiani v. Thomas Momme

May 11, 2012

LOUIS A. DAMIANI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS MOMME, ET AL.
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Schiller, J.

MEMORANDUM

This is an excessive force case. The parties have filed a number of motions in limine. This memorandum will address the following motions: Defendants' Motion to Preclude Expert Testimony of R. Paul McCauley and to Strike Expert Report, Defendants' Motion to Preclude Evidence of Allegations of Prior Conduct, and Defendants' Motion to Preclude Evidence of Medical Causation or Prognosis.

I. BACKGROUND

Louis Damiani contends that Defendant police officers repeatedly hit him and then shoved him into a truck during a confrontation that occurred outside of his house. One of the officers handcuffed Damiani's hands behind his back and pinned Damiani's neck and back against a truck. The officers also held Damiani by the handcuffs and continually pulled up on the handcuffs, causing sharp pain. Additionally, the officers injured Damiani when they dragged him backwards by the handcuffs.

II. DISCUSSION

A.. Daubert Motion

Defendants seek to preclude the expert testimony and expert report of Dr. R. Paul McCauley. Dr. McCauley is a Professor Emeritus of Criminology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. (Defs.' Mot. to Preclude Expert Testimony of R. Paul McCauley [Defs.' Daubert Mot.] Ex. A [McCauley Report] at 1 .) He is a former Pennsylvania municipal police officer who has written and taught extensively on police administration, operations, and policies. (Id. at 1-2.)

Dr. McCauley's examination and analysis of the events surrounding Damiani's claim "are based on generally accepted qualitative methodologies commonly used in the social sciences . . . includ[ing] comparative analysis, ethnography/description, content analysis, and case study as applied to the relevant issues." (Id. at 2.) To reach his opinions, he reviewed the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff's attorney's notes of one of Defendants' depositions, a general order from the Lower Providence Township Police Department on the use of force, and the Lower Providence Township Police Department Incident Investigation Report. (Id. at 2-3.)

Dr. McCauley opines that: (1) accepting Damiani's version of the facts, the officers' conduct toward him after the handcuffs were applied failed to comport with accepted police practices; (2) the police conduct was unnecessary, punitive, abusive, and contrary to accepted police practices; (3) Damiani should have been treated by medical professionals as soon as the officers knew he was injured or Damiani requested medical treatment; and (4) a person in handcuffs should be released immediately once the officer knows the person is not a safety risk and has not committed a crime. (Id. at 5.)

Federal Rule of Evidence 702 states:

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 ...


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