X hits on this document





38 / 47

studies. Id. at 133-34. Plaintiff’s effort to recharacterize this expert opinion as one based “on the natural laws of physics and mathematics,” indeed on principles so obvious that a judge could take judicial notice of them under Federal Rule of Evidence 201, AOB at 29, is ludicrous. Cf. DePaepe, 141 F.3d at 720 (rejecting argument based on “a lawyer’s sense of how science should be done” because “[t]hat way quackery lies”).

Clark asserts in his brief that Lafferty’s slipshod and unscientific method “are of the type generally used and rendered by experts such as himself.” AOB 28; see also ibid. (stating that Lafferty conducted “the same examinations and tests and inquiries any biomechanical engineer relies on daily in the normal practice in the field of biomechanical engineering”). These assertions are incorrect and, in any event, unsupported by this record. On the contrary, the record amply demonstrates the unscientific and dubious nature of Lafferty’s methodology.

The methodology of defendants’ expert, Harry Smith, illustrates how bio- mechanical experts do, and should, determine whether an occupant’s head would have hit the roof with a properly functioning lap belt. Smith concluded that “[a]lthough restrained by both lap and shoulder belts throughout the accident sequence, Mr. Clark impacted the side roof rail area with the top of his head above and lateral to his seated position most likely during the first roll of the accident sequence.” NR 47:Tab 3 at 6. To reach that conclusion, Smith conducted three “surrogate driver and exemplar vehicle” analyses, two involving a Honda Accord similar to the accident vehicle and one involving a Volvo 940 Turbo. Ibid. Two of these three tests were “spit analys[e]s” in which the Honda and Volvo, after being drained of fluids, were mounted on a device resembling an enormous “rotisserie spit” and then rotated in a test of how a driver (of the same approximate height and weight as Clark) would have moved during the rollover. Ibid; NR 61:Tab 2 at 27, 29. Smith analyzed the movements of the surrogate driver secured in the driver’s seat by both shoulder and lap belts (as reflected in photographs and films


Document info
Document views74
Page views74
Page last viewedSat Oct 22 09:05:07 UTC 2016