United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE
TESTIMONY OF PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT STEVEN M. TIPTON;ORDER
GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTIONS TO
J. PECHMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Exclude Testimony of Plaintiff's Expert Steven M. Tipton
(Dkt. No. 86); Plaintiff's Motion to Strike the Motion to
Exclude and Motion to Strike the Declaration of Stephen
Andrew (Dkt. No. 91); and Defendant's Motions to Strike
the Declarations of Steven Tipton and Vern Goodwin (Dkt. No.
101). The Court has reviewed the Motions, the Response (Dkt.
Nos. 91), the Reply (Dkt. No. 101) and all related papers.
The Court declines to hear oral argument on this matter.
a products liability case brought by Plaintiff Benjamin
Somerlott against Defendant McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing,
Inc. (Dkt. No. 3.) Plaintiff was injured while operating a
McNeilus side-loading commercial refuse truck manufactured
and sold by Defendant (the “Side Loader”).
(Id.) The Court is familiar with the remaining facts
of the case, and will not repeat them here.
retained as its expert Dr. Steven M. Tipton, a Professor in
the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of
Tulsa with a Ph.D. in mechanical design. (Dkt. No. 87-4 at
15.) Dr. Tipton submitted an expert report on July 20, 2017
(Id. at 2-13) and was deposed by counsel for
Defendant on August 31, 2017 (Dkt. No. 87-3).
expert report, Dr. Tipton opined that the Side Loader was not
reasonably safe as designed, did not comply with applicable
safety standards, and did not come with adequate warnings.
(See Dkt. No. 87-4.) Dr. Tipton certified that his
opinions were “based on sound engineering design
principles, the analyses [he] conducted and the resources
named [in the report].” (Id. at 13.) When
asked about his methodology at deposition, Dr. Tipton
testified that “[t]here was no formal analysis that was
necessary” and that he didn't “have the
information available” to conduct a risk benefit
analysis for each of his proposed alternative designs. (Dkt.
No. 87-3 at 27, 41-42.)
claims Dr. Tipton is not qualified and did not employ
reliable methodology in his analysis of the Side Loader, and
moves to exclude his testimony under Daubert. (Dkt.
Motions to Strike
the parties has moved to strike various pleadings and
declarations filed in connection with this matter.
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike the Motion to Exclude Steven
moves to strike Defendant's Motion to Exclude Steven M.
Tipton (Dkt. No. 86) for failure to comply with the
applicable page limits. (See Dkt. No. 91 at 2.) The
Court notes that the motion is 18 pages, and is clearly in
violation of the 12-page limit imposed by the Local Rules.
See LR(e)(4). While this is improper, the Court
observes that striking the motion at this stage in the
proceedings, when trial is fast approaching and when both
parties have invested substantial time in preparing
responsive pleadings, would not further judicial efficiency
or the interests of either party.
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike the Declaration of Stephen
moves to strike the Declaration of Stephen P. Andrew
(“Andrew Declaration”) (Dkt. No. 88), filed with
Defendant's Motion to Exclude. (Dkt. No. 91 at 11.) The
Andrew Declaration claims that Dr. Tipton failed to follow
the “generally accepted engineering and scientific
analysis techniques” in his analysis of the Side
Loader, and identifies alleged shortcomings in his
methodology and conclusions. (Dkt. No. 88 at 3-4.) While
Plaintiff claims the declaration is improper under Rule 702
and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., 509 U.S. 579
(1993), he offers no explanation for this ...