Appellants-defendants Larry Cox and Tube City, LLC d/b/a Olympic Mill Services (collectively, “Tube City”), appeal from the trial court‘s judgment holding Tube City liable for negligence and ordering it to pay $4,126,529 in damages to appellee-plaintiff Allen Matthews. Specifically, Tube City argues that the trial court erred by allowing the expert testimony of Anthony Gamboa, Ph.D. In addition, Tube City maintains that the jury‘s verdict and allocation of damages is clearly against the weight of the evidence. Furthermore, Tube City asserts that the trial court improperly instructed the jury regarding the absence of Cox and documents relating to Cox‘s employment. Finally, Tube City maintains that the trial judge was improperly appointed in violation of the Indiana Trial Rules.
Conclusion (slip op. at 2): Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 14, 17, 19): Dr. Gamboa based his opinion on the medical findings of Dr. Fortson, who had previously testified. Therefore, we cannot conclude that the trial court abused its discretion in determining that the findings of a medical doctor were a sufficiently reliable basis for a specialist‘s opinion under Rule 702(b) . . . The jury deliberated and assessed damages in the amount of $4,382,000, which is within the range put forth by both parties. Although the figure is much closer to the one proposed by Matthews, Tube City‘s proposed figure did not include damages for physical injuries and disability . . . Because Cox was Tube City‘s employee and acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the incident, the negative inference that applied to Cox for his failure to appear and testify at two depositions and the trial also applied to Tube City, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion by giving the instruction.