as well as my practice, custom and procedure, that Mr. Clark’s lap belt was not attached around his waist * * * when I first arrived on the scene * * * .” Id. at 2. Defendants moved to strike Hodson’s affidavit as contrary to her deposition testimony. NR 64.
In a thoroughly reasoned, 25-page opinion, the district court granted
defendants’ motions to strike as well as their motion for summary judgment. NR 87:1-2. In striking the affidavit of Melissa Hodson, the district court explained that “‘[a] party cannot claim a lack of general knowledge about a subject and later make a statement which requires detailed knowledge about the same subject.’” NR 87:7 (quoting Unterreiner v. Volkswagen of America, Inc., 8 F.3d 1206, 1210 (7th Cir. 1993)). After carefully reviewing Hodson’s deposition testimony — including her sworn statement that she “‘d[id]n’t recall actually cutting [Clark’s lap belt] or removing it’” and “‘d[id]n’t recall anything’” about the lap belt — the court concluded that the statements in her later affidavit that “Clark’s lap belt was not attached around his waist” and that “she did not cut or otherwise release the lap belt from Mr. Clark” were inadmissible because they “clearly contradict” the “prior sworn testimony.” NR 87:6-8 (emphasis added and omitted). The district court rejected Clark’s argument that Hodson’s affidavit merely
“clarifies” her “ambiguous or confusing” deposition testimony. NR 87:5-8.
The district court also granted the motion to strike the testimony of James Lafferty. Initially, the court noted that there was no dispute about whether Lafferty was properly qualified in “the field of biomechanics.” NR 87:14 n.4. Whether an expert is qualified, however, is logically distinct from the question whether a particular opinion offered by the expert is based on a reliable methodology. NR 87:14-15 (“[A]cceptance of Dr. Lafferty as an expert qualified to give opinions in a particular field is not a sufficient basis for a determination that his testimony is based on scientifically valid reasoning or methodology.”). Next, the district court explained that under Daubert v.