Thursday, May 28, 2015
The Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Leslie Stingley v. Trinity Highway Products, et al. on Tuesday. Stingley was doing 65 mph on I-20 in Clinton when he passed out and hit the guardrail. He ended up having one of his legs amputated below the knee. He filed suit against the designers, testers, manufacturers of the “Regent C” guardrail as well as the contractor and subcontractor who installed it. The trial court granted summary judgment on the design of the guard rail. This case has some very detailed discussions regarding the interplay of Daubert, product liability, and sufficiency of the testimony. The majority viewed the evidence as sufficient to exclude the expert because the opinion had not been subjected to peer review. There is a pretty strong dissent in the case that stated the principals used by the experts were subject to peer review from my reading so that it is not necessary that the actual opinion of how the guard rail was defective was not necessary to be peer reviewed. I would expect this case to go up on cert. As the dissent argued, there appears to be so many factual disputes that it is up to the jury to sort out.