United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: MOTION TO PRECLUDE EXPERT TESTIMONY OF
GARY M. CRAKES, PH.D (DOC. NO. 67); MOTION TO STRIKE OR LIMIT
PLAINTIFFS’ EXPERT TESTIMONY (DOC. NO. 70)
C. HALL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case arises out of events that occurred on July 13, 2011,
when M.R.O, an 8-year-old child, died in connection with an
automobile accident involving a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban,
which is manufactured by the defendant General Motors LLC
(“GM”). The plaintiffs in this case are: (1)
Bernard Pitterman, as administrator of the Estate of M.R.O.;
(2) Bernard Pitterman, as guardian of the Estate of G.O., who
is the victim’s brother; and, (3) Rose O’Connor,
who is the victim’s mother (plaintiffs will be referred
to, collectively, as “Pitterman”). James
O’Connor, M.R.O.’s father, was at one time a
plaintiff in this case, but is no longer. See Doc.
No. 120 at 2 n. 1.
pending before the court are, inter alia, two
motions in limine filed by GM, which the court will address
MOTION TO PRECLUDE EXPERT TESTIMONY BY GARY M. CRAKES, PH.D.
(DOC. NO. 67)
has disclosed Dr. Crakes as an expert who will testify as to
“the economic losses” of M.R.O. and “the
life expectancy and work life expectancy” of M.R.O.
See Plaintiff’s Disclosure of Expert at 2
(Doc. No. 69-1) (“Crakes Disclosure”). In his
report, Dr. Crakes opines that M.R.O.’s economic loss
would be $1, 277, 000 if M.R.O. had earned a bachelor’s
degree and $1, 463, 000 if she had earned a master’s
degree. See id. at 10. GM seeks to preclude Dr.
Crakes’s testimony as unduly speculative, because
“[t]here simply is no basis for making any assumption
about what type of advanced education M.R.O. might or might
not have obtained.” General Motors LLC’s
Memorandum in Support of Its Motion to Exclude the Testimony
of Gary M. Crakes, Ph.D. at 3 (Doc. No. 68).
GM does not argue that the methodology Dr. Crakes used in
order to arrive at the two dollar figures (economic loss for
a female with a bachelor’s degree and economic loss for
a female with a master’s degree) was in any way faulty.
Indeed, if Dr. Crakes, in his report, had omitted any
reference to M.R.O. and simply opined as to the economic loss
of a generic female with a bachelor’s degree and a
generic female with a master’s degree, it seems to the
court that GM would have no basis for contesting Dr.
Crake’s testimony. In fact, this is essentially what
Dr. Crakes did - his report would not differ materially in
any way if he had omitted M.R.O.’s name.
Dr. Crakes will be permitted to testify as to the economic
loss that, in his estimation, a female with a
bachelor’s degree and a female with a master’s
degree would have suffered. The onus will then fall on
Pitterman to convince the jury, through other testimony and
evidence, that M.R.O. would have earned either a
bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Motion to Preclude Dr. Crakes’s expert testimony is
MOTION TO STRIKE / LIMIT PLAINTIFFS’ EXPERT TESTIMONY
(DOC. NO. 70)
Motion, GM seeks to strike or limit three distinct types of
expert testimony offered by Pitterman. The court will address
each request separately.
Motion to Strike James O’Connor’s Expert
O’Connor disclosed four expert witnesses. See
Affidavit of Paul E.D. Darsow Ex. B at 1-2 (Doc. No. 72-2).
However, as already discussed above, James O’Connor is
no longer a party to this case. Accordingly, this portion of
GM’s Motion - in which GM moves to strike James’s
expert disclosure - is moot, and, as such, it is terminated
Motion to Limit Treating Physicians’ and Treating
Social Workers’ Expert Testimony to ...