Expert Article Library

Case Name: M. Diane Koken v. Black & Veatch Construction, Inc.


Court: US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; appeal from District Ct. of Maine

Date: October 14, 2005

Type of expert: Engineer. Robert Waite

Issue: Whether reasoning or methodology used by engineer was scientifically valid

Summary of case: Plaintiff alleges a protective fire blanket caused a fire during a torch-cutting operation resulting in an estimated $9 million in repair and delay costs. They claim the blanket lacked adequate warnings and was unsuitable for cutting operations.

Role of the expert: The plaintiff’s expert witness testified at deposition that the fire blanket used was inappropriate for torch-cutting.

Expert analysis: Plaintiff’s expert was qualified but did not explain his underlying methodology justifying his opinion as required by Daubert. The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision to exclude the expert testimony.

Summary prepared by J. Price, Student, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)