Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness' Testimony Admitted despite his Alleged Disregard of the Evidence

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness’ Testimony Admitted despite his Alleged Disregard of the Evidence

This Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) case arises out of an accident that occurred on January 5, 2021 between Plaintiff Avery Stinson and a U.S. Postal Service tractor-trailer driven by Stewart Henry. When the accident occurred, Plaintiff was operating a bicycle on a sidewalk and attempting to cross an intersection. At the same time, a U.S. Postal Service tractor-trailer was traveling in the same direction parallel to the sidewalk and initiated a right turn at the same intersection.The bicycle collided with the trailer portion of the tractor-trailer, and Plaintiff sustained injuries as a result of the accident.

Plaintiff designated Dean Nance as an accident reconstruction expert in this case. Defendant filed a motion to exclude Plaintiff’s expert under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2), Federal Rule of Evidence 702, and Daubert v. Merrill DowPharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993).

Accident Reconstruction Expert Witness

Dean Nance has applied his training, experience, and skills in Accident Reconstruction on 100’s of motor vehicle crashes as a member of the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Trooper. During his service with the Texas Department of Public Safety, he completed all 6 Levels of training in Accident Reconstruction. He owns an Accident Reconstruction Investigations Company, and is licensed through the Texas Department of Public Safety Private Security Bureau as a Private Investigations Company.

Nance is also a member of professional societies which specialize in Accident Reconstruction: (TAARS) Texas Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialist, The Laser Scanner Forum, The American Association of Notaries, The Khan Academy of Science and Engineering, and The Crash Forum Group.

Want to know more about the challenges Dean Nance has faced? Get the full details with our Challenge Study report. 

Discussion by the Court

Nance’s report failed to meet the requirements of Rule 26(a)(2)

Defendant argued that Nance’s report failed to provide “a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them” and “the facts or data considered by the witness in forming them” as required by Rule 26.

The Court held that Nance’s report listed his qualifications as an accident reconstructionist and the evidence he reviewed and the tasks he performed in reaching his conclusions. For example, the report stated that Nance “documented the crash scene” and “made a map of the crash scene location using Google Earth Pro.” The report identified materials he consulted such as excerpts from J.J. Keller Truck Driving Training Manual and Smith System Driver Study Guide.

Plaintiff also provided Nance’s curriculum vitae, listing professional experience, specialized training and certificates, awards received, and state and federal court testimony as an accident reconstructionist.

Defendant also moved to strike Nance’s opinions in his report on the ground that the report “promoted an objectively false narrative without evidentiary support.” However, Defendant’s objection to Nance’s report as a “false narrative” amounted to a dispute regarding the facts Nance considered and the conclusions he reached. The Court held that these objections were not a basis to exclude his testimony under Rule 26(a)(2)(B).

Nance’s opinions were “conclusory, lacked evidentiary support, and were unreliable and inadmissible” under Rule 702 and Daubert

Defendant’s motion to exclude Nance’s testimony under Rule 702 and Daubert did not challenge Nance’s qualifications. Instead, Defendant argued that Nance’s “disregard of the evidence and his objectively false narrative” warranted the exclusion of his testimony.

The Court held that objections like those raised by Defendant “relating to the bases and sources of an expert’s opinion affect the weight to be assigned that opinion rather than its admissibility.”


The Court denied the Defendant’s motion to exclude Plaintiffs’ expert Dean Nance.

Key Takeaways:

  • The factfinder generally should “hear the expert’s testimony and decide whether the predicate facts are accurate.”
  • Since the case will be tried before a judge and not a jury, most of the safeguards provided for in Daubert are not as essential.

Case Details:

Case Caption:Stinson V. United States Postal Service
Docket Number:4:22cv1775
Court Name:United States District Court, Texas Southern
Order Date:May 14, 2024


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