United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
STRIKE PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT WITNESS DALE CRAWFORD
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant GEICO Casualty
Company's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Expert Witness
Dale Crawford. (Doc. # 90.) For the reasons outlined below,
the Court grants in part and reserves ruling on the remainder
of Defendant's Motion to Strike.
Court detailed the factual background of this case in its
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
(Doc. # 89.) That Order is incorporated by reference, and the
facts explained therein need not be repeated. The Court
recounts only the facts necessary to address Defendant's
instant Motion to Strike.
Court explained in its summary judgment order, the resolution
of this case will turn on whether Plaintiff Brian Rod
Desizlets' insurance policy was in effect at the time of
a motor vehicle collision at approximately 4:00 PM on
February 25, 2013. See (id. at 5.)
Plaintiff asserts that he made payment sufficient to
reinstate coverage at 9:23 AM on the morning of the accident
through Defendant's automated phone system. (Doc. # 82 at
2-3.) He cites his credit card statement and deposition
testimony of bank employees and Defendant's employees as
evidence. (Id. at 4-11.) Defendant counters that
Plaintiff did not have insurance coverage at the time of the
accident, relying on its own records, Plaintiff's bank
statements, and other documents to show that Plaintiff made a
preauthorization payment on 4:27 PM on the day of the
accident- after the accident occurred at approximately 4:00
PM. (Doc. # 68 at 31.) Defendant contends that any record of
9:23 AM pertains to 9:23 AM on February 27, 2013, two days
after the collision, when Plaintiff's payment was
allegedly processed and completed. (Id.)
retained Dale Crawford as a “consulting expert in the
area of property and casualty insurance and
reinsurance” to testify that “upon receipt of the
insurance premium, it is the usual and customary practice of
the insurance to bind coverage at that time.” (Doc. #
90-1.) Plaintiff disclosed Crawford as a retained expert
witness to Defendant on July 7, 2017, (id.), and
attached his expert report, (Doc. # 90-2.) Relevant here,
Crawford opined that Plaintiff's credit card statement
shows that he made an electronic payment to Defendant on the
morning of the accident. (Id. at 6.) “The
electronic records and information regarding time zones
establish without a doubt that [Plaintiff] made a payment to
[Defendant] several hours before the Accident occurred,
” Crawford wrote. (Id. at 10.) Crawford
[T]he investigation by [Defendant] was inadequate, resulting
in the lack of defense and subsequent default judgment
against [Plaintiff]. Furthermore, upon presentation of
undisputed evidence of payment having been made prior to the
Accident, [Defendant] had an obligation to acknowledge
coverage and respond to the request for resolution of the
default judgment against [Plaintiff].
(Id. at 10.) Plaintiff also designated Crawford as a
rebuttal expert witness, (Doc. # 90-3), and submitted
Crawford's rebuttal report, (Doc. # 90-4).
filed the Motion to Strike now before the Court on March 1,
2018. (Doc. # 90.) Plaintiff filed a Response in opposition
to Defendant's Motion on March 14, 2018, (Doc. # 91), to
which Defendant replied on March 28, 2018, (Doc. # 92).
Daubert, the trial court acts as a
“gatekeeper” by reviewing a proffered expert
opinion for relevance pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence
401, and reliability pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence
702. See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 589-95 (1993); see also Goebel
v. Denver & Rio Grande W. R.R. Co., 215 F.3d 1083,
1087 (10th Cir. 2000). The proponent of the expert must
demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the
expert's testimony and opinion are admissible. United
States v. Nacchio, 555 F.3d 1234, 1241 (10th Cir.
2009); United States v. Crabbe, F.Supp.2d 1217,
1220-21 (D. Colo. 2008); F.R.E. 702 advisory comm. notes.
This Court has discretion to evaluate whether an expert is
helpful, qualified, and reliable under Rule 702. See
Goebel, 214 F.3d at 1087; United States v.
Velarde, 214 F.3d 1204, 1208-09 (10th Cir. 2000).
Rule of Evidence 702 governs the admissibility of expert
testimony. Rule 702 provides that a witness who is qualified
as an expert by “knowledge, skill, experience,
training, or education” may testify if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other
specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to
understand the evidence ...