United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDERS
P. HART UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Karen Maneri, commenced this action by filing a Complaint in
the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on May 15, 2017, which
was removed to this court on August 29, 2017. Plaintiff
asserted claims of negligence, product liability, and breach
of warranty against Defendant, Starbucks, for serving hot tea
which spilled on Plaintiff after she purchased the tea at
Defendant's drive-thru window. She alleges that after she
purchased the tea and placed it into her car's built-in
cupholder, she drove home and as she turned into her driveway
the lid popped off, causing the tea to spill on her leg and
resulting in severe burns.
parties consented to proceed before the undersigned and
approval of the Consent was signed by the Honorable Berle M.
Schiller on May 13, 2019. (Doc. No. 17). Currently pending
before this Court are Defendant's Motion to Exclude the
Testimony of Plaintiff's Liability Expert (Doc. No. 23)
and Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No.
24). Plaintiff has filed a Response to both Motions (Docs.
No. 26, 27) and Defendant has filed Replies to
Plaintiff's Responses (Docs. No. 28, 29).
MOTION TO EXCLUDE TESTIMONY
Standard of Review
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 and
methods; and (d) the expert has reliably applied the
principles and methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702. The Supreme Court held in Daubert v
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., that as
“gatekeeper, ” the trial judge must ensure that
expert testimony is both relevant and reliable.
Daubert, 509 U.S. 579, 589 (1993). This basic
gatekeeping obligation applies to all expert testimony, not
only to “scientific” testimony. Kumho Tire
Co, Ltd. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147 (1999).
Third Circuit has held that Rule 702 requires the proponent
of the testimony to demonstrate by a preponderance of the
evidence: (1) the proffered witness is qualified as an expert
(2) the expert is testifying about matters requiring
scientific, technical or specialized knowledge; and (3) the
expert's testimony will assist the trier of fact. In
re Paoli R.R. Yard PCB Litig., 35 F.3d 717, 741-743 (3d
Cir. 1994); see also In re Zoloft (Sertraline
Hydrochloride) Prod. Liab. Litig., 858 F.3d 787, 792 (3d
Cir. 2017). The expert testimony must be “reliable,
” which means the opinion “must be based on
methods and procedures of science rather than on subjective
belief or unsupported speculation.” In re Paoli
R.R. Yard Pcb Litig., 35 F.3d 717, 741 (3d Cir. 1993),
quoting Daubert, 509 U.S. at 590.
determine the reliability of the proposed evidence, the court
may consider factors including:
(1) whether a method consists of a testable hypothesis;
(2) whether the method has been subjected to peer review;
(3) the known or potential rate of error;
(4) the existence and maintenance of standards controlling
the technique's operations;
(5) whether the method is generally accepted;
(6) the relationship of the technique to methods which have
been established to be reliable;
(7) the qualifications of the expert witness testifying based
on the methodology; and
(8) the non-judicial uses to which the method has been put.
United States v. Mitchell, 365 F.3d 215, 235 (3d
Cir. 2004), quoting Paoli, 35 F.3d at 742, n. 8.
court will consider both academic training and practical
experience to determine if the expert has “more
knowledge than the average lay person” on the subject.
Fedor v. Freightliner, Inc., 193 F.Supp.2d 820, 827
(E.D. Pa. 2002) (citing Waldorf v. Shuta, 142 F.3d
601, 627 (3d Cir.1998)). The specialized knowledge the expert
possesses must relate to the area of testimony. Id.
In addition to consideration of these factors as to
reliability, the ...