Kumho Tire Company, Ltd. v. Carmichael
- Case Date: 8/25/1998
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On August 25, 1998, WLF had filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to make clear that the criteria outlined in its earlier decision for the admissibility at trial of expert evidence testimony regarding scientific matters applies to expert testimony on technical matters as well. In this case, the plaintiff filed a product liability lawsuit against a tire manufacturer, claiming the tire failed due to a design or manufacturing defect. The "expert" witness, however, never examined the tire nor specified what the defect might be. The trial court excluded his testimony, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed, ruling that the Supreme Court's "junk science" decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. only applies to scientific experts and not technical experts. WLF's brief argued that all expert testimony is subject to the Daubert standards; otherwise, paid experts can become a roadblock to the jury's search for the truth.