Derek Stikeleather and Matthew Tranter of Goodell DeVries co-authored an article for DRI's Daubert Online, Volume 17, Issue 2 (December 2021). An excerpt is below. The full article is available on DRI's website.
Fourth Circuit Warns of Heightened Risk of Error in Products Liability Cases When Courts Treat Daubert Admissibility as Mere Question of Weight
In a precedential August 2021 opinion, the Fourth Circuit reversed a $4.84 million products liability jury verdict, citing the April 2021 Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules proposal, which emphasizes that trial judges need to ensure that each element of Rule 702 is met by a preponderance of the evidence. Sardis v. Overhead Door Corp., 10 F.4th 268 (4th Cir. 2021). The Sardis opinion cautions trial courts that, under Daubert and Rule 702, they cannot delegate to jurors the judicial inquiry into whether Rule 702’s subsections (a) through (d) are all satisfied. Before jurors can consider the weight to give expert testimony, its proponents must satisfy each element of Rule 702 by a preponderance of the evidence.
Derek is Chair of Goodell DeVries's Appellate Law Practice Group, and Matthew is an associate with the firm.