are the principal subject of this appeal, easily pass this Court’s deferential review for abuse of discretion. And absent this testimony, plaintiff raised no genuine factual issue concerning whether the lap belt unbuckled.
Ms. Hodson stated at her deposition that she could not recall “anything”
about the lap belt. In response to defendants’ summary judgment motion, however, she submitted an affidavit claiming to recall that the lap belt was not in place. This Court is highly skeptical of conflicting affidavits that surface in response to summary judgment motions. The district court’s decision to strike Ms. Hodson’s affidavit was not an abuse
The only basis plaintiff’s expert gave for concluding that the lap belt
unbuckled was his “experience * * * [t]hat’s it.” Lafferty performed no lap belt tests and relied on no scientific data. Such an ipse dixit does not satisfy the minimum threshold of methodological reliability. Lafferty’s alternative theory that the belt must have unbuckled because there was more blood on the shoulder belt than on the lap belt is similarly devoid of any scientific support, as well as beyond Lafferty’s expertise. And both of Lafferty’s efforts to demonstrate a basis for his conclusion were at odds with his sworn deposition testimony that he “ha[d] no opinion” on whether the lap belt unlatched during the rollover accident. The district court did not abuse its discretion in striking
Absent the excluded testimony, Clark offered no evidence that would raise
a genuine factual issue concerning whether his lap belt failed during the accident. In view of the powerful evidence (both eyewitness and expert) that the lap belt did not unbuckle during the accident, the photograph of the driver’s seat following the accident, standing alone, was insufficient to raise a genuine factual issue on this score. That is especially true since the inference Clark suggests could be drawn from the photograph is refuted by the uncontradicted testimony of defendants’ expert. In any event, Clark never argued