Loggerhead Tools, LLC v. Sears Holdings Corporation et al, 1-12-cv-09033 (ILND September 20, 2016, Order) (Darrah, USDJ)
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Willfulness Expert Excluded as Unhelpful to Jury
The court granted plaintiff's motion to exclude the testimony of defendants' expert regarding willfulness as unhelpful. "[The expert's] testimony on willfulness is not helpful to the jury, as it does not concern a matter beyond the understanding of the average person. There is no reason why the finder of fact could not evaluate any evidence and decide whether Defendants’ conduct was 'willful, wanton, malicious, bad-faith, deliberate, consciously wrongful, flagrant, or ̶ indeed ̶ characteristic of a pirate.' Because [the expert's] opinion on whether Defendants’ conduct was willful would not assist the trier of fact, it is not relevant. Further, there is no reason to believe that [the expert] has any particular qualifications above and beyond that of a layperson to determine the state of mind of another. . . . Whether or not [defendants'] actions constituted willful infringement and what weight should be given to outside counsel’s opinions on infringement is the province of the fact finder."