In a first party property insurance lawsuit against a WWBH client, Alexa Lester successfully excluded a causation expert on behalf of her WWBH client via a Daubert challenge. In the lawsuit, the insured sought more than $2,000,000 in damages for loss and damage to a commercial building. The plaintiff insured disclosed an engineering expert to offer expert opinion testimony that the claimed loss and damage was caused by a storm, while the insurance carrier contends the claimed loss and damage was caused by or resulted from long-term deterioration, wear, and tear, etc. Alexa moved to exclude the engineer’s reports, testimony, and opinions because they were not based on sufficient facts and data, not reliable, speculative, and because the purported opinions would not offer any assistance to the jury in determining a fact at issue.
Following substantial briefing and oral argument, the Eastern District of Missouri granted Alexa’s Daubert motion and excluded the expert’s reports, testimony, and opinions in their entirety. The court held the expert, while highly qualified to render an opinion, did not provide an opinion that satisfied the requirements of Daubert and Federal Rule of Evidence 702, that vigorous cross examination as to the factual basis for the opinions would not alleviate the lack of sufficient facts and data, and methodology, and that the expert’s report was based on data too remote in time or substance to assist a jury in any meaningful factual analysis.