Expert Article Library

Damages Expert Calculates Car Wash Losses

Case Name: Wash Solutions Inc. v. PDQ Manufacturing Inc. (http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/05/01/041039P.pdf)

Court: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; on appeal from District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Date: January 24, 2005

Expert: Economic Consulting—Accounting. Scott Stringer, Accounting, Damages

Issues: Defendant challenged reliability of expert’s damages calculation because he was not an expert in the defendant’s industry.

Summary of case: The plaintiff Wash Solutions Inc. filed civil suit against defendant PDQ Manufacturing for breach of their franchise agreement. PDQ manufactures car washes and prematurely ended it partnership with its distributor, Wash Solutions.

Role of the expert: The plaintiff’s expert witness testified regarding his calculation of the net damages plaintiff suffered from loss of sales to existing customers.

Expert analysis: The defendant challenged the reliability of the expert’s testimony because the expert (1) did not address the plaintiff’s sales history in his analysis and (2) was not familiar with the car wash industry.

The court held that the expert’s testimony was admissible. Because he did not forecast damages that plaintiff suffered from foregone sales to unknown customers, only to existing customers, his lack of knowledge of the car wash industry and familiarity with the plaintiff’s sales history did not detract from the reliability of his testimony.

Summary prepared by K. Tanner, Student, University of California, Hastings College of Law