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scientific method (see Cummins, 96 F.3d at 368), yet Lafferty conducted no tests. Nor did he demonstrate reliability under any of the other Daubert factors. In stark contrast to Lafferty’s untested assertions, defendants offered the expert testimony of Smith, who conducted a “simulation” (NR 61:Tab 2 at 61) in which he demonstrated that under the circumstances of the accident “blood emanating from [the] head will fall onto [Clark’s] clothing, will track via the shoulder harness towards the shoulder harness retractor and even spill into the buckle of the lap belt without blood reaching the lap belt itself.” NR 47:Tab 3 at 7 (emphasis added). Thus, defendants’ expert conducted scientific tests that disproved Lafferty’s unfounded opinion. Because Lafferty’s “testimony would not assist the trier of fact in understanding * * * whether the lap belt came unlatched,” the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding it. NR 87:17-18.

The district court’s decision to strike this opinion of Lafferty should also be upheld because of Lafferty’s prior sworn statement that he was merely assuming that the lap belt became unlatched and had no opinion on this topic. Lafferty’s attempt to proffer just such an opinion based on the disparity of blood on the lap and shoulder belts is flatly inconsistent with that sworn statement. For that reason as well, the district court’s evidentiary ruling was not an abuse of discretion.

Finally, we note that Clark’s primary case, Pries v. Honda Motor Co., 31 F.3d 543 (7th Cir. 1994) (discussed at AOB 31-32), confirms the correctness of the district court’s ruling. In Pries, as here, plaintiff’s expert concluded that “the latch opened during the accident.” 31 F.3d at 545. As here, the expert had conducted no tests and could not explain “what forces had brought this about.” Ibid. This Court found that “[e]vidence of this kind is not scientific and does not satisfy Fed. R. Evid. 702.” Ibid. (citing Daubert, 509 U.S. 579). So too, Lafferty’s untested conclusion that the lap belt unbuckled is not science and was properly excluded.


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