LIABILITY EXPERT BARRED- UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY, CAMDEN VICINAGE
Michelle James v. Harrah’s Atlantic City.
We filed a Daubert Motion under Fed. R. Evid. 702 and 703 to bar plaintiff’s liability expert, Andrew Sutor, and preclude his testimony as a security and beg bug expert at the time of trial. Plaintiff designated Andrew Sutor, a “senior security executive and former university teacher with extensive law enforcement operations and casino hotel security background” as an expert to render an opinion on “the necessary level of safety required to protect fellow guests from harm” to support her claims in this case. After taking his deposition, Christopher C. Mauro, filed a motion to bar his testimony at the time of trial on the basis that he is unqualified to render an opinion as an expert and that his opinion in this case is unreliable, and that it is not helpful to the trier of fact. Plaintiff vigorously opposed our motion to bar and argued that Mr. Sutor says in his report that he applied his “background, experience, education and specialized training and expert knowledge in the area of hotel management and private security” to “perform a risk analysis taking into consideration the nature of the Defendant’s business and analyzing the level of risk in the area in general and the specific location.”
The Court agreed with Mr. Mauro’s arguments and held that Mr. Sutor has not followed any methodology that would render his opinion reliable, and rather produces an opinion that is “subjective belief or unsupported speculation.” Additionally, the Court found that Mr. Sutor’s lack of education, training and experience in matters of public health, and the lack of a reliable methodology underlying the opinions about industry norms in combatting bed bug infestations in hotels, the proffered opinion also suffers from a lack of “fit.” Therefore, the Court issued an order granting defendant’s motion to strike Mr. Sutor’s expert reports and opinions.