Castelluccio v. International Business Machines Corp.
A court may exclude expert testimony, if the danger of unfair prejudice is greater than the probative value of the testimony. In 2008, IBM discharged a 61-year-old vice president, James Castelluccio, and Castelluccio sued IBM, alleging age discrimination, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The plaintiff disclosed Dr. Gary Crakes as an expert witness, and the defendant disclosed Dr. Charles Sodikoff. Dr. Sodikoff opined that Castelluccio did not diligently pursue full-time employment after his departure from IBM and that if he had he would have found a job within nine to 18 months. Whether Castelluccio engaged in a diligent job search is a question for the jury. Dr. Sodikoff may compare Castelluccio's job search to a typical, successful job search. Dr. Sodikoff may not opine that Castelluccio, if diligent, would have found an appropriate, comparable job in his area of skill and work experience in nine to 18 months, because the analytical gap was too great between the data and the opinion. There was no mention in his report about age data or income data as factors in locating comparable jobs. Dr. Sodkoff indicated that he added a little time to the estimated job search, because Castelluccio was 61 years old, and that he added some more time to the estimate, because Castelluccio had earned $248,550 gross per year at IBM. The court also found that Dr. Crakes' analysis of past or future loss attributable to the exercise of stock options was inadequate, because he did not know when or why stock options were offered to IBM executives. The danger of unfair prejudice was greater than the probative value of the testimony. Dr. Crakes may testify about other types of economic loss that resulted from the plaintiff's discharge.