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Date: 05-27-2023

Case Style:

Marina Stewart-Magee v. Daniel B. Snyder

Case Number: 5:22-CV-10

Judge: Madeline Hughes Haikala

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (Jefferson County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Daniel S. Wolter, Floyd D. Gaines, R. Bruce Barze, Jr.

Description: Birmingham, Alabama personal injury lawyer represented Plaintiff injured in a watercraft accident.

While Albina Agdasovna Sharifullina and Daniel B. Snyder were traveling on the Sea-Doo, they struck a dock. Mr. Snyder was injured, and Ms. Sharifullina died in the accident. (Doc. 21). Among other things, the jury in this case must decide who was driving the Sea-Doo at the time of the accident. To carry her burden of proving that Mr. Snyder was operating the Sea-Doo, Marina Stewart-Magee, the administrator of Ms. Sharifullina's estate, relies on an investigation conducted by a marine police officer, Agent John Williams. Agent Williams has opined that Mr. Snyder was driving the Sea-Doo at the time of the accident.

Mr. Snyder argues that Agent Williams is not qualified to express the opinions that he offers in this case and that the methodology Agent Williams used to reach his opinions is unreliable. This opinion resolves Mr. Snyder's motion to exclude Agent William's expert testimony.

Rule 702 Standard for Admissibility of Expert Opinions

Under Federal Rule of Evidence 702, an expert may be qualified “by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education,” and an expert may testify at trial and offer an expert opinion if:

(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;

(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;

(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and

(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

A district court must determine whether:

(1) the expert is qualified to testify competently regarding the matters he intends to address; (2) the methodology by which the expert reaches his conclusions is sufficiently reliable as determined by the sort of inquiry mandated in Daubert; and (3) the testimony assists the trier of fact, through the application of scientific, technical, or specialized expertise, to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.

United States v. Frazier, 387 F.3d 1244, 1260 (11th Cir. 2004) (en banc) (quoting
City of Tuscaloosa v. Harcros Chems., Inc., 158 F.3d 548, 562 (11th Cir. 1998)). All three prongs “are distinct concepts that courts and litigants must take care not to conflate.” Quiet Tech. DC-8, Inc. v. Hurel-Dubois UK Ltd., 326 F.3d 1333, 1341 (11th Cir. 2003). The party offering expert testimony must demonstrate that the anticipated testimony is admissible under Rule 702. Frazier, 387 F.3d at 1260.
Stewart-Magee v. Snyder (N.D. Ala. 2023)

Outcome: Motion granted.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


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