United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
SOLOMAN OLUDAMISI AJIBADE, as natural parent of Mathew Ajibade; and ADENIKE HANNAH AJIBADE, as natural parent of Mathew Ajibade; THE ESTATE OF MATHEW AJIBADE; and CHRIS OLADAPO, executor; Plaintiffs,
JOHN WILCHER, in his official capacity as Chatham County Sheriff; CORIZON HEALTH, INC.; GREGORY BROWN; FREDERICK BURKE; ABRAM BURNS; MARK CAPERS; MAXINE EVANS; ANDREW EVANS-MARTINEZ; PAUL FOLSONE; DEBRA JOHNSON; JASON KENNY; and ERIC VINSON; Defendants.
WILLIAM T. MOORE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude the Testimony
of Darrell Ross. (Doc. 201). For the following reasons,
Plaintiffs' motion is GRANTED IN PART
and DENIED IN PART. To the extent that
Defendants wish to use Ross as an expert to offer testimony
regarding his interpretation of the law and the legal
sufficiency of Plaintiffs' claims, this testimony is
excluded. To the extent, however, Defendants wish to use Ross
as an expert to offer his interpretation of the facts in this
case as applied to his knowledge and expertise of law
enforcement practices and in-custody deaths, this testimony
experiencing a mental health crisis, Mathew Ajibade was
detained and transported to the Chatham County Detention
Center ("CCDC") on January 1, 2015. (Doc. 115 at
2.) While waiting to be processed, Ajibade failed to comply
with a sheriff deputy's instruction to sit down.
(Id. at 3.) His non-compliance led to a physical
altercation between Ajibade and multiple officers.
(Id.) As a result, Ajibade was allegedly placed in a
restraint chair and repeatedly tasered in his groin area.
(Id. at 4.) He was then placed in a separate cell
where Plaintiffs allege that jail staff failed to provide him
with adequate medical care as required by law. (Id.
at 4-6.) Ajibade was found dead in his cell nearly two hours
later. (Id. at 5.)
Ajibade's parents, Soloman Oledamisi and Adenike Hannah
Ajibade, and his estate brought suit citing various
constitutional and state law violations. (Doc. 1.) Against
the various correctional officers involved, Plaintiffs
brought suit seeking relief in Count One for the use of
excessive force, and Count Two for alleged deliberate
indifference to serious physical and mental health needs.
(Id. at 10-13.) Against Defendant Sheriff
Wilcher, Plaintiffs brought suit seeking relief in
Count Three for maintaining a pattern and practice of
substandard medical conditions for detainees, and Count Four
for maintaining a pattern and practice of the excessive use
of force against detainees. (Id. at 14-23.)
Plaintiffs also brought suit against Defendant Wilcher and
the Defendants Corrections Officers in Count Five for
wrongful death, and Count Six for assault and
battery. (Id. at 23-25.)
extensive discovery, both parties have identified a number of
experts. Both sides have filed several motions seeking the
exclusion of many of the identified experts in this case. At
this time, the Court will only consider Plaintiffs'
Motion to Exclude Darrell Ross.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
admission of expert testimony is controlled by Federal Rule
of Evidence 702:
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.
702 was amended in response to Daubert v. Merrell
Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 597
(1993), which compelled district courts to perform a
gatekeeping function concerning the admissibility of expert
testimony. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has
explained that district courts fulfill that function by
engaging in a three part inquiry, considering whether
(1) the expert is qualified to testify competently regarding
the matters he intends to address; (2) the methodology by
which the expert reaches his conclusions is sufficiently
reliable as to be determined by the sort of inquiry mandated
in Daubert; and (3) the testimony assists the trier
of fact, through the application of scientific, technical, or
specialized expertise, to understand the evidence or to
determine a fact in issue.
United States v. Frazier, 387 F.3d 1244, 1260 (11th
Cir. 2004). While there will often be some overlap between
these concepts of qualification, reliability, and
helpfulness, they are distinct concepts that courts should be
careful not to conflate. Quiet Tech. DC-8, Inc.
v. Hurel-Dubois, UK, Ltd., 326 F.3d 1333, 1341 (11th
Cir. 2003) . The burden of establishing that these
requirements are met rests with the proponent of the expert
testimony, and not the Daubert challenger.
McCorvey v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., 298 F.3d 1253,
1257 (11th Cir. 2002).
MOTION TO ...