Klingenberg v. Vulcan Ladder USA, LLC, No. 18-1742 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
After plaintiff suffered serious injuries from falling off a Vulcan ladder, he and his wife filed suit against Vulcan and GP. The jury rejected plaintiffs' design defect claim, but found that defendants breached an express warranty. The jury awarded plaintiff damages and the district court denied defendants' post-trial motions for judgment as a matter of law and, in the alternative, a new trial.
The Eighth Circuit affirmed and held that plaintiff's expert was qualified and his testimony was properly admitted under Federal Rule of Evidence 702; the expert provided a sufficient case-specific basis to support his opinion and he did not simply speculate on causation after a great deal of prodding; GP waived its statute of limitations defense; and the evidence was sufficient to support the jury verdict on the breach of contract claim; defendants waived their remaining arguments; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying defendants' motion for a new trial.
Court Description: Benton, Author, with Wollman and Grasz, Circuit Judges] Civil case - Personal injury. Plaintiff's expert was qualified and his testimony was properly admitted under Rule 702; the expert could testify even if he did not test his theories on the damaged ladder involved in the case or an exemplar model; the expert provided a sufficient case-specific, factual basis to support his opinion, and defendant's cases are distinguishable; defendant waived any claim that the statute of limitations barred plaintiffs' breach of express warranty claim by not raising it at the final pretrial conference or raising it for inclusion in the final pretrial order; evidence was sufficient to support the jury verdict for plaintiffs on their breach-of-express-warranty claim; defendant waived any argument that the jury's rejection of plaintiffs' design-defect claim precluded recovery on the breach-of-express-warranty claim; defendant waived its argument that an express warranty follows the seller under Iowa law by not raising it in a pre-verdict Rule 50(a) motion; motion for new trial was properly denied.