Expert: Know thy facts.

“The Daubert reliability analysis applies to, among other things, ‘the facts underlying the expert’s opinion.'”  Moore v. International Paint LLC, No. 13-30281 (Nov. 15, 2013, unpublished).  In this case, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the exclusion of expert testimony about a plaintiff’s cumulative benzene exposure, citing these problems with his assumed facts: (1) assuming an hourly rate of $6,00, when his rates were in fact $6.99, $7.44, and $8.00; (2) assuming, contrary to the plaintiff’s deposition testimony, that he always worked with paint indoors, that his respirator always failed within an hour, and he never received a replacement; (3) assuming, contrary to other deposition testimony, that the indoor spaces where the plaintiff worked were always unventilated; and (4) assigning an arbitrary number, with no record support, to the amount of time the plaintiff worked as a sandblaster rather than a painter.  “To be sure, reliable expert testimony often involves estimation and reasonable inferences from a sometimes incomplete record. . . . Here, however, the universe of facts assumed by the expert differs frequently and substantially from the undisputed record evidence.”

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