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In Bielskis v. Louisville Ladder, the Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in defendant's favor. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit considered whether the district court properly struck plaintiff's expert's report under the Daubert standard and then whether summary judgment was properly entered in Defendant's favor. The Plaintiff had fallen from a three-foot-high mini-scaffold when it collapsed at a worksite. Plaintiff had obtained the mini-scaffold seven years prior when his former employer gave it to him fully assembled. Plaintiff filed suit against Louisville Ladder under a product defect theory and alleged that Defendant failed to properly test and inspect the threaded stud of the caster stem that failed. In support of his theories, Plaintiff retained an expert who concluded that the stud failed due to a brittle facture caused by excess stress brought by over-tightening of the threaded caster stem. The District Court struck the expert because the expert's conclusions were not supported by data or testing to support the brittle facture theory. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Court of Appeals held the District Court "was within its discretion to conclude that [the expert's] methodology sounded more like the sort of '[t]alking off the cuff' -- without data or analysis -- that we have repeatedly characterized as insufficient." Without expert testimony, Plaintiff could not prove his case and summary judgment in Louisville Ladder's favor was affirmed.

The District Court proceedings were conducted by John W. Bell and Charles P. Rantis. The appeal was briefed and argued by Garrett L. Boehm, Jr.