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Goebel v. Denver & Rio Grande W. R.R.

Citation: 30 ELR 20696
No. No. 99-1143, 215 F.3d 1083/(10th Cir., 06/12/2000)

The court reverses and remands a district court decision finding a railroad company liable for an employee's injuries because the district court improperly admitted expert testimony. The court first holds that the district court abused its discretion in admitting the expert testimony. Under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 23 ELR 20979 (1993), a court acts as a gatekeeper in determining whether or not to admit expert testimony. While a court has discretion in the manner in which it conducts its Daubert analysis, there is no discretion regarding the actual performance of the gatekeeper function. A court must make specific findings of fact or hold a discussion on the record, which the district court did not do in this case. There is not a single explicit statement on the record to indicate that the district court ever conducted any form of Daubert analysis whatsoever.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Steven M. Weisbaum
Alper, Mann & Weisbaum
1730 K St. NW, Ste. 1107, Washington DC 20006
(202) 298-9191

Counsel for Defendant
James W. Erwin
Thompson & Coburn
One Firstar Plaza, St. Louis MO 63101
(314) 552-6000

Before Baldock and Briscoe, JJ.