United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
TIMOTHY D. DeGIUSTI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Robert Bosch Tool Corporation's
Motion to Exclude the Expert Testimony of Plaintiff's
Expert, Dr. Robert Anderson [Doc. No. 63]. Plaintiffs have
filed their response in opposition [Doc. No. 69] and
Defendant has replied [Doc. No. 74]. The matter is fully
briefed and at issue.
Hanna AlNahhas (“Plaintiff”), was injured while
operating a random orbit sander manufactured by Defendant.
Under tort theories of strict products liability and
negligence, Plaintiffs sued Defendant alleging the sander was
defectively designed and had inadequate
warnings. In support of the claims, Plaintiffs
retained the services of Dr. Robert Anderson. Dr. Anderson is
president of RNA Consulting, Inc., where he specializes in
forensic engineering. His areas of expertise include
metallurgical failure analysis, corrosion, thermodynamics,
engineering design failure, electrical fires, ballistics, and
accident analysis. Dr. Anderson described his occupation
I do failure analysis, and a component of that is to look at
what would have prevented that failure, whether it was
changing some compositional area, reinforcing area or
warnings, and so just about every issue I address, there [is]
some concept in there about what could have stopped the
injury from occurring.
of Robert Anderson at 36:14-19.
Anderson received his Ph.D in Metallurgy from Stanford
University and his bachelor and master of science degrees in
Chemical Engineering from the University of California,
Berkley. At the time of his report, he was an emeritus
professor at California State University at San Jose. Among
other licenses, he is a registered metallurgical engineer and
is certified in the specialty of forensic engineering. He
takes classes every year on product failure and has authored
several publications regarding forensic engineering.
Plaintiffs' request, Dr. Anderson examined the sanding
disc at issue with a stereo microscope and scanning electron
microscope. He did not test any other pad, but did examine an
exemplar pad similar to the one used by Plaintiff. Dr.
Anderson testified that in addition to examining the sander,
he reviewed Plaintiff's discovery requests and
Defendant's answers to Plaintiff's Requests for
Admission. He also reviewed drawings produced by Defendant
during discovery, as well as literature on the sander and the
examining the pad, he issued a written report (the Anderson
Report) detailing his findings and conclusions. The report
consisted of two general opinions: (1) Defendant did not
specify or warn as to the end of life behavior of the sanding
disc and should not have sold the disc without such warning,
and (2) there was a design defect in the molding process,
which made the disc unreasonably dangerous and caused it to
lose its “strength” over time. Specifically, Dr.
Anderson's report stated:
In my opinion, the presence of voids and the mixture of
brittle and plastic regions made the sanding disc too weak
for the intended use. Further, there is no warning that the
sanding disc can fracture after extended use.
The manufacturer's molding process was the cause of the
failure, and this made the disc unreasonably dangerous.
[Defendant] did a number of tests on the orbital sander, but
did not specify or warn as to end-of-life behavior of the
disc. Without providing documentation or warnings on how the
disc might fail, [Defendant] should not have sold these
It is reasonable to expect that without initially putting on
safety glasses, a user might test the functioning of the
orbital sander before starting work. Therefore, knowledge of
the stability of the disc during its lifetime is critical.
The manufacturing defects and the lack of warnings with
regard to the end-of-life behavior resulted in a dangerous
condition that ...