Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Experts — Reliance on the Reports of Others

From City of Gary v. Shafer, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47113 (N.D. Ind. June 2, 2009):

An expert's opinion should not be rejected as unreliable simply because the expert relied on the reports of others. Walker v. Soo Line R. Co., 208 F.3d 581, 588 (7th Cir. 2000). Rather, experts may rely on data and other information that is supplied by third parties. Nutrasweet Co. v. X-L Eng'g Co., 227 F.3d 776, 789-90 (7th Cir. 2000). "Analyzing data assembled by others is neither illicit nor unusual, even if the data were prepared for litigation by an interested party." Southwire Co. v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., 528 F. Supp. 2d 908, 934 (W.D. Wis. 2007). "Either 'hands-on testing' or 'review of experimental, statistical, or other scientific data generated by others in the field' may suffice as a reasonable methodology upon which to base an opinion." Clark v. Takata Corp., 192 F.3d 750, 758 (7th Cir. 1999). Therefore, Mr. Vandeven's review of sample analysis and agency reports, as well as review of aerial photographs, was a valid methodology that legitimately led to his conclusion that Defendants' operations were the likely source of lead contamination. See Nutrasweet, 227 F.3d at 788 (finding review of aerial photographs in conjunction with other reliable methodology as reliable).

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