Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wiedeman v. Canal Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

July 7, 2017

GREGORY WIEDEMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CANAL INSURANCE COMPANY, H&F TRANSFER, INC., AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY, and WALTER PATRICK DORN, IV, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Gregory Wiedeman's (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Exclude Daren Marceau Pursuant to Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. [182] (“Motion”).

         I. BACKGROUND

         This action arises from an August 8, 2014, collision (the “Collision”) between Plaintiff and Defendant Walter Patrick Dorn, IV, an employee of Defendant H&F Transfer, Inc. (“H&F”). The parties dispute, among other things, which party had the right-of-way and whether Plaintiff had lost control of his motorcycle before being struck by H&F's truck.

         H&F intends to call Daren Marceau to testify regarding the mechanics of the crash, including the appropriateness of Plaintiff s actions prior to the Collision. Plaintiff challenges the following of Marceau's opinions:

• Plaintiff could have avoided the Collision if Plaintiff had noticed and reacted to the truck's movement earlier, ([112] at 14-15);
• Plaintiff improperly activated and locked his rear brake alone, resulting in a loss of control prior to impact, (id at 12); and
• Plaintiff's vision was impaired by his tinted helmet visor, the raindrops hitting his visor, and the glare created by headlights reflecting off the rain, (id at 15).

         H&F now states that Marceau will not be offered to testify as to Plaintiff's impaired vision or that Plaintiff could have avoided the Collision. Accordingly, Plaintiffs Motion is denied as moot with respect to these two opinions. H&F still intends to offer Marceau to testify that Plaintiff improperly activated and locked his rear brake alone, resulting in a loss of control prior to impact.

         Plaintiff argues that Marceau's testimony is “unsupported by any calculation, precise measurement, or collected data[, ]” and that it is contradicted by relevant scientific literature. (Mot. at 4). To support his argument, Plaintiff notes that, when deposed, Marceau admitted he did not perform any testing or calculations to support his conclusions, and he admitted he did not consult any specific authority to form his opinions. (Id at 3 (citing Marceau Dep. [182.2])). Plaintiff further argues that Marceau's ignores obvious alternative explanations, and that his testimony would not be helpful to the jury.

         H&F notes that Marceau has more than two decades of experience in civil and traffic engineering and accident reconstruction. (See [112]; [195.1] (“Marceau Decl.”). He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1994 and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1995. (Marceau Decl. ¶ 2). He is a Registered Professional Engineer in four states; North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia. (Id.) He is a Certified Traffic Signal Technician and Signal Inspector and wrote, among other publications, a book titled Accident Reconstruction at Traffic Signal Intersections. (Id.). Marceau instructs various professionals on topics including traffic accident investigation, reconstruction involving traffic control devices, and human factors within the roadway, driving, and pedestrian environments. (Id.). He is a court-qualified expert in motorcycle operations, and he has operated motorcycles for many years. (Id.). He also has personal experience, during training and non-training operations, with motorcycle skidding on wet and dry paved and non-paved surfaces, and has participated in motorcycle crash testing. (Id.).

         In his Declaration, Marceau explains that, based upon his education, training, knowledge, and expertise as a civil and forensic engineer, accident investigator, and accident reconstructionist, he is familiar with the principles and methodology accepted in the profession and he has used those principles and methodologies in preparing his opinions this case. (Marceau Decl. ¶ 3). Marceau bases his opinion that Plaintiff improperly activated and locked his rear brake alone, resulting in a loss of control prior to impact on the following: (1) tire marks showing skidding on the rear tire, not the front tire (2) the lack of damage to the H&F truck's grill; and (3) the testimony of witness LuAnn Downes that she heard skidding. Based on this evidence, Marceau explains the methodology he used to support his opinion that a locking rear tire alone will cause a motorcycle to “go down.” (See [195] at 13-18). His methodology “is based on a combination of physical evidence and physics[, ]” including Newton's first law of motion. (Marceau Decl. ¶ 4).

         II. DISCUSSION

         Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, expert testimony is admissible if: (1) the expert is qualified to testify regarding the subject matter of her testimony; (2) the methodology that the expert used to reach his or her conclusions is sufficiently reliable; and (3) the expert's testimony will assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact at issue. United States v. Scott, 403 F. App'x 392, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.