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In re Cessna 208 Series Aircraft Products Liability Litigation

November 17, 2008

IN RE: CESSNA 208 SERIES AIRCRAFT PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kathryn H. Vratil United States District Judge

MDL No. 1721

(This Document Relates To All Cases)

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Cessna Aircraft Company's Motion To Strike William D. Waldock's Revised Expert Report(Doc. #523) filed July 21, 2008. For reasons stated below, the Court overrules defendant's motion.

Factual And Procedural Background

Plaintiffs allege that ice accumulation on the Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft was a factor in various crashes. Plaintiffs allege that (1) the Caravan left Cessna's control in an unreasonably dangerous condition; (2) Cessna negligently designed, manufactured and assembled the Caravan; (3) Cessna breached express and implied warranties; and (4) Cessna fraudulently disclosed data about the aircraft certification. Plaintiffs also assert claims for strict liability, negligence and breach of warranty against Goodrich, regarding the Caravan's pneumatic de-icing boots.

On April 15, 2008, plaintiffs disclosed William D. Waldock as one of nine common issue experts. In his report of April 14, 2008, Waldock opined as follows:

1. During the period 1987 to 2007, the Cessna 208 Caravan has an accident history in which "airframe icing" is involved in 21% of the total accidents for the aircraft.

2. The C-208B model accounts for 31 (88.5%) of the 35 accidents [involving airframe icing].

3. Similar aircraft from different manufacturers experience a much lower incidence of icing accidents within their total accident populations. The Caravan had a comparative rate of 2 to 10 times the numbers of icing-related accidents as a number of the total accident population.

4. The Cessna Aircraft Company failed to recognize the incidence or significance of icing-related accidents, even though each accident was investigated by Cessna investigators and those involving icing were clearly identified as a factor in the individual reports.

5. The Cessna Aircraft Company failed to conduct a survey, special investigation, or statistical analysis of icing-related accidents/incidents until at least 2005, even though the data regarding such was available and obtainable. The NTSB had become concerned as early as 2003 and conducted their own review, resulting in their concern that the aircraft had problems in icing conditions. Such analyses would have clearly revealed the problems the aircraft has when operated in known icing conditions.

Waldock Expert Report at 4, attached to Cessna's Memorandum In Support Of Motion To Strike William D. Waldock's Revised Expert Report (Doc. #525) filed July 21, 2008.

Cessna deposed Mr. Waldock on April 24, 2008. During the deposition, Waldock concluded that three of the 35 accidents referenced in paragraph two of the opinion section of his original report did not meet certain criteria and should be eliminated from the analysis. Cessna could not complete Waldock's deposition because he had not produced all of the documents on which he relied to prepare his comparison ...


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