was based on a reliable methodology. That argument simply cannot be squared with Daubert or with this Court’s cases.14/ On appeal, Clark attempts to shore up Lafferty’s methodology:
Based upon his measurements, Dr. Lafferty determined * * * that Clayton Clark had 4 inches of clearance between the top of his head and the crushed roof of the car. In his deposition Dr. Lafferty stated that a lap belt should allow a restrained driver to leave the seat by no more than 2 inches. Thus, he concluded that, had Clayton been restrained by his lap belt, he would have had approximately two inches of clearance before his head would even begin to impact the roof of the Honda automobile.
AOB at 27 (emphasis added). This “2 inches of movement” rationale is nowhere in Lafferty’s report, nowhere in his “clarifying affidavit,” and nowhere in plaintiff’s opposition to summary judgment. As plaintiff failed to make this argument below, he cannot press it here. Huntzinger, 1998 WL 205240, at *4.
In any event, the “two inches” rationale is also unsupported by any scientific or reliable methodology. Lafferty did no testing to arrive at the two-inch figure. NR 61:Tab 1 at 133. He claimed that others had tested the amount of give in a lap belt, but then stated “I don’t think that’s ever been measured” and, predictably, could not identify any
14/ Indeed, Lafferty’s methodology would not pass muster even in those circuits that do not apply any of the Daubert factors to engineering testimony. Although Clark suggests that Lafferty “relied upon” several “peer reviewed” articles cited in his two-page expert report (AOB 19-20, 29; see NR 54:Exh. 1A)) — a claim he did not make below (see NR 54; NR 68:2) — in fact there is no evidence that the articles cited in Lafferty’s report were peer reviewed. More importantly, Lafferty himself testi ied that in formulating his opinion he did “nothing more than inspect the vehicle and make the measurements that I made and reviewdocuments, primarily the medical records.” NR 61:Tab 1 at 53; NR 62:4-6. He later testi ied that he was relying solely on his “experience.” NR 61:Tab 1 at 123. Thus, Lafferty expressly admitted that he did not rely on the articles. In fact, Lafferty did not even take the trouble to read any of the depositions in the case. Id. at 53. He had no idea even “in which direction” Mr. Clark “would * ** move” as the car began to roll, explaining lamely, “I haven’t looked at that.” Id. at 123. And he had “no [opinion]” about the “forces that this lap belt and buckle experienced in this accident.” Id. at 137-138. As this Court has recognized, “[a] conclusion without any support is not one based on expert knowledge and entitled to the dignity of evidence.” Navarro v. Fuji Heavy Indus., Ltd., 117 F.3d 1027, 1031 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 118 S. Ct. 600 (1997). That principle required the exclusion of Lafferty’s testimony.