Schara v. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc
ORDER denying 16 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 18 Motion to Exclude. Ordered by Judge Clay D. Land on 03/04/2013.(aaf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING,
CASE NO. 3:10-cv-57(CDL)
O R D E R
Plaintiff Christine Schara (“Schara”) lost control of her
2000 Toyota Camry LE and ran off the road into a tree.
product liability action, Schara brings a claim for defective
design against Defendant Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky,
She claims that the unsecured driver’s side
floor mat interfered with the accelerator pedal, causing her to
lose control of both speed and direction of the vehicle.
testimony of Donald Phillips (“Phillips”), a mechanical engineer
with accident reconstruction training and experience.
opines that the Toyota vehicle was defectively designed because
(1) the floor mat was not secured with a positive retention
device or locking clip, (2) the floor mat did not have a relief
cut-out to provide clearance around the accelerator pedal as
shown in the owner’s manual, and/or (3) the accelerator pedal
did not swivel or articulate at the end of the pedal rod to
prevent accelerator interference from the floor mat.
opinions are based on his investigation of the possible causes
of the accident, which included an inspection of the vehicle.
Eliminating all other possibilities, Phillips opines that the
defective floor mat design most likely caused Schara to lose
control of her vehicle.
Toyota seeks to exclude Phillips’s opinion testimony under
Toyota’s Mot. to Exclude
Donald Phillips, ECF No. 18.
Certain Ops. Proffered by
Once that evidence is eliminated,
that his methodology is scientifically reliable, and that his
testimony will assist the trier of fact.
Fed. R. Evid. 702;
Hendrix ex rel. G.P. v. Evenflo Co., 609 F.3d 1183, 1194 (11th
Toyota’s arguments go to the weight that a jury may
give to that testimony, not to its admissibility.
the testimony is not excluded under Daubert and is admissible
under Federal Rule of Evidence 702.
Toyota’s motion to exclude
Phillips’s testimony (ECF No. 18) is denied.
In light of the Court’s ruling on Toyota’s Daubert motion,
it is clear that a genuine factual dispute exists for resolution
by a jury.
Accordingly, Toyota’s summary judgment motion (ECF
No. 16) is denied.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.1
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 4th day of March, 2013.
S/Clay D. Land
CLAY D. LAND
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
During discovery and in her response to Toyota’s pending motions, Schara
abandoned some of her defect claims. If Schara wishes to amend her Complaint
to conform it to the current state of the evidence consistent with her
response to Toyota’s pending motions, she may do so by filing an amended
complaint within seven (7) days of today’s Order. The Court finds that
allowing this amendment does not prejudice Toyota in any way.
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