Alexander v. Bailey
A court can admit expert testimony if the expert possesses peculiar knowledge or experience, not common to the world, which makes the expert's opinion helpful to the factfinder. On Nov. 8, 2010, the plaintiff's BMW 535i allegedly was in a motor-vehicle accident. The plaintiff's insurance company paid $19,225 to repair the BMW. The plaintiff, Douglas Alexander, sued the defendant, Tameka Bailey, alleging that the fair market value of the BMW, after repairs, was less than the fair market value prior to the motor-vehicle accident. The defendant objected that the plaintiff's damages are restricted to costs of repair. The court found that only if repairs place the plaintiff's property in substantially the same condition as prior to the injury will costs of repairs constitute the amount of the plaintiff's damages. The defendant filed a motion to preclude the testimony of the plaintiff's expert, Robert Collins. The court found that Robert Collins possesses a skill or knowledge that is not common and that his testimony will be helpful to the jury. "His experience in the field," wrote the court, "allows him to opine as to factors which might lead to a diminished value for vehicles with an accident history in general, and this vehicle in particular." The court denied the defendant's motion to exclude the testimony of Robert Collins.