United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
CARIBBEAN UTILITIES COMPANY, LTD. PLAINTIFF
HOWARD INDUSTRIES, INC., a Mississippi profit corporation, DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause came before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Exclude or Limit the Testimony of Defendant's Engineering
Expert, Dr. Eric P. Guyer . The motion has been fully
briefed [119, 138]. Having reviewed the parties'
submissions, the relevant legal authority and otherwise being
fully advised in the premises, the Court finds that the
motion will be denied.
Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (“CUC”) is an
electric utility company located in the Cayman Islands. This
case arises from electrical transformers manufactured by the
Defendant, Howard Industries, Inc. (“Howard”),
which CUC alleges are defective. At issue presently is expert
testimony provided by Howard's expert, Dr. Eric P. Guyer,
Ph.D., P.E., an engineer who specializes in failure analysis,
metallurgy, materials science, adhesion science, fracture and
fatigue of materials, material degradation, and material
deformation, as well as paints and protective coatings.
[110-9] at p. 1. Dr. Guyer and his company (Exponent) visited
CUC's facility in the Cayman Islands and observed several
hundred of the transformers that had been removed from
service at that time, which were being stored in steel
shipping containers. [110-9] at p. 6. He also toured
Howard's plant in 2019. [110-9] at p. 31. He has reviewed
testing performed by Applied Technical Services [110-9] at
pp. 20-29, and throughout his report has offered rebuttal to
CUC's expert reports.
moves the Court to exclude or limit Dr. Guyer's testimony
because CUC contends his opinions are unreliable, irrelevant,
not based on proper methodology, unfairly prejudicial,
speculative and not supported by sufficient facts and because
he is not qualified to render certain opinions he has
Rule of Evidence 702 states that 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
[i]f scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge
will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or
to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an
expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or
otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based on sufficient facts
or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable
principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the
principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
Rule imposes on the trial judge an obligation to
“‘ensure that all [expert] testimony . . . is not
only relevant, but reliable.'” Kuhmo Tire Co.
v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147 (1999); see also
Watkins v. Telsmith, Inc., 121 F.3d 984, 988-989 (5th
Cir. 1997) (“[W]hen expert testimony is offered, the
trial judge. Must perform a screening to ensure that the
expert's opinion is reliable and relevant to the facts at
issue in the case.”).
specifically than previously stated, CUC contends that Dr.
Guyer should be precluded from testifying as follows:
1) to the effect that the Howard transformers were not
contaminated with iron; CUC submits various pieces of
evidence in support of its arguments; and
2) that Howard's phosphating process removed any iron
contamination from the transformers;
3) as to any opinions regarding the maintenance of the
transformers because he is not qualified;
4) as to any opinion that the transformers corroded because
of deficient specifications and lack of maintenance;
5) as to his opinion to the effect that there was no basis
for CUC's decision to remove all pole-mounted
transformers from ...