United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
TRUDY FERRELL, individually and as personal representative of the ESTATE OF GREGORY FERRELL, deceased, Plaintiff,
BGF GLOBAL, LLC, et al., Defendants.
TIMOTHY D. DeGIUSTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Strike (Daubert),
Motion in Limine and Brief in Support as to Plaintiff's
Expert Ron Blevins [Doc. No. 105]. Plaintiff has filed her
responses in opposition [Doc. Nos. 118, 120], and Defendants
have replied [Doc. Nos. 121, 122]. The matter is fully
briefed and at issue.
action stems from an automobile accident in which
Plaintiff's husband, Gregory, was killed when his car
collided with a semi-truck driven by Defendant Lawrance
Dildine. At the time of the accident, Dildine was employed as
a truck driver for Defendant BGF Global, LLC (BGF). BGF has
stipulated Dildine was acting within the scope of his
employment when the accident occurred. In support of her
claims against BGF and Dildine, Plaintiff retained accident
reconstructionist Ron Blevins as an expert witness. Blevins
is president of Blevins Enterprises, Inc. He has been
involved in accident reconstruction for thirty years and
served in the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) for
twenty-four years. While with the OCPD, Blevins supervised
the Traffic Investigations Unit for eight years. During his
time as an accident investigator, Blevins investigated
thousands of traffic accidents. He has reconstructed
accidents for district attorneys, provided extensive training
to officers regarding traffic-related matters, and has
testified in numerous state and federal cases.
April 6, 2017, Blevins provided his expert report with
respect to the accident at issue. Defendants move to strike
Blevins' report on the grounds that (1) his opinions do
not assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to
determine a fact in issue; (2) Blevins is unqualified to
render many of the opinions, especially as they relate to
digitally downloaded information; and (3) the opinions are
702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence imposes upon the Court
an important “gate-keeping” function with regard
to the admissibility of expert opinions. It provides:
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
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702. In considering whether an expert's
opinion is admissible, the Court performs a two-step
analysis. First, the Court determines whether the expert is
qualified by knowledge, skill, experience, training or
education to render the opinion that the expert offers.
Second, if the expert is so qualified, the Court must decide
whether the expert's opinion is reliable under the
principles set forth in the seminal cases of Daubert v.
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993)
and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137
(1999), and would assist the fact finder. 103 Investors
I, L.P. v. Square D Co., 470 F.3d 985, 990 (10th Cir.
2006); Ralston v. Smith & Nephew Richards, Inc.,
275 F.3d 965, 969 (10th Cir. 2001). “If expert
testimony is not reliable under Daubert/Kumho, it is
not admissible under Rule 702.” James River Ins.
Co. v. Rapid Funding, LLC, 658 F.3d 1207, 1215 n. 1
(10th Cir. 2011).
have broad discretion in determining the admissibility of
expert testimony. Taylor v. Cooper Tire & Rubber
Co., 130 F.3d 1395, 1397 (10th Cir. 1997). A district
court also has broad discretion to decide “how to
assess an expert's reliability, including what procedures
to utilize in making that assessment, as well as in making
the ultimate determination of reliability.” Dodge
v. Cotter Corp., 328 F.3d 1212, 1223 (10th ...