Standards of IRE 702 not met

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Kempf Contracting and Design, Inc. (“Kempf”) appeals the judgment, after a jury trial, in favor of Cynthia Holland-Tucker (“Tucker”) in her action against Kempf for negligence. Kempf raises several issues, of which we find the following dispositive: Whether the trial court erred when it entered judgment on a second verdict reached by the jury, where, after an initial verdict was reached, the trial court reconvened the jury, gave them new instructions and verdict forms, and allowed the jury to deliberate a second time.

Conclusion (slip op. at 11): We conclude that Tucker failed to meet her burden of proving that Tierney’s methodology was scientifically reliable under Indiana Evidence Rule 702(b), and the trial court abused its discretion when it allowed Tierney to testify. Reversed and remanded with instructions.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 7-11): Tucker failed to present any evidence to establish the scientific reliability of Tierney’s methodology in determining Tucker’s reduction in earning capacity and work life expectancy. As the proponent of the expert testimony, Tucker had the burden of establishing the reliability of the scientific tests upon which the expert’s testimony is based . . . Tierney did not name any peer-reviewed publication or provide any citation to authority that supported his bald assertion that his methodology to determine Tucker’s lost future earnings was generally accepted in the field of vocational economics. Additionally, even though Tierney may have testified previously regarding this methodology, such fact does not establish that his methodology was scientifically reliable.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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