Booth v. Black & Decker, Inc.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

166 F. Supp. 2d 215 (E.D. Pa. 2001)

Under the Daubert standard, expert testimony is inadmissible if it is not shown to be reliable.

Relevant Facts

Jacob Booth’s (the plaintiff) house caught fire, causing damage. The fire marshal determined that the cause of the fire was the plaintiff’s microwave. Despite this, the plaintiff brought a manufacturing defect lawsuit against Black & Decker, Inc. (the defendant), the manufacturer of the plaintiff’s toaster oven, claiming that the toaster oven caused the fire. To support his claim, the plaintiff presented expert testimony who theorized that the toaster’s power contacts had welded together, causing the fire. The expert testified that he examined the power contacts and observed indications of melting and scoring, which were indicative of welding. The expert did not provide a detailed explanation of his methods or any additional testimony. The district court held a Daubert hearing on the issue of reliability of Thomas’s testimony. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment.

Issue

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Holding & Reasoning

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Concurrence

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Dissent

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Last updated:

December 3, 2020

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Procedural History

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Citations

166 F. Supp. 2d 215 (E.D. Pa. 2001)