WILLIAM LOGAN, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON BEHALF OF THE WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF CHARLIE PATSY LOGAN, DECEASED APPELLANT
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, LINCOLN MOTOR COMPANY, AND KIRK AUTO COMPANY APPELLEES
OF JUDGMENT: 08/21/2017
GRENADA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. HON. GEORGE M. MITCHELL JR.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: EDWARD BLACKMON MARCUS AMIR WILLIAMS
BRADFORD JEROME BLACKMON
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: D. STERLING KIDD BRADLEY WITHERSPOON
SMITH GEORGE CLANTON GUNN IV
This is an appeal from the Grenada County Circuit Court's
exclusion of expert testimony and grant of summary judgment.
Finding no error, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Charlie Patsy Logan and her husband, William Logan, purchased
a 2009 Lincoln Town Car from Kirk Auto Company (Kirk). Ford
Motor Company (Ford) issued a recall notice on their
model's steering sector, and the couple took their car to
Kirk for inspection in November 2013. Kirk did not find
visible signs of any issue with the car, but ordered
replacement parts for the steering sector regardless. The
replacement parts were never installed. After the inspection,
William damaged the car during a minor accident in which he
hit a concrete block and refrigerator in his carport. The
couple took the car to a different Ford dealership for
One month later, 82-year-old Charlie Patsy drove down
Mississippi Highway 35 through Carroll County. According to
her car's power-train control module, her speed as she
drove down this 55-mile-per-hour-limit two-lane road was over
80 miles per hour. The car veered off the road and wrecked.
Charlie Patsy did not survive.
In September 2014, William sued Ford, Lincoln Motor, and Kirk
in the Grenada County Circuit Court under the Mississippi
Products Liability Act (MPLA). Claims against Lincoln Motor were
dismissed with prejudice in November 2014.
In September 2015, William tendered Derrick Rainey as
"an expert witness in the field of Automotive
engineering analysis and Technology" to support his
assertion that Charlie Patsy's accident occurred because
the Lincoln Town Car's steering column was defectively
designed. The defendants deposed him several months later,
then moved to exclude Rainey's opinions. The motions were
withdrawn, but the defendants filed a renewed motion to
exclude Rainey's opinions and moved for summary judgment
in May 2017. The court granted both, finding that Rainey was
not qualified and that there was no genuine issue of material
William appeals to this Court, asserting that: (1) the
circuit court erred when it determined that Rainey was not
qualified as an expert; and (2) summary judgment was
"When reviewing a trial court's decision to allow or
disallow evidence, including expert testimony, we apply an
abuse of discretion standard." Delta Reg'l Med.
Ctr. v. Taylor, 112 So.3d 11, 20 (¶22) (Miss. Ct.
App. 2012). Unless we determine "that a trial
court's decision to admit or exclude evidence was
arbitrary and clearly erroneous, that decision will
stand." Id. And "[a] trial court's
grant of summary judgment is reviewed de novo."
Wright v. R.M. Smith Invs. L.P., 210 So.3d 555, 557
(¶6) (Miss. Ct. App. 2016). "Summary judgment is