Court Finds Age Discrimination Expert Witness’s Testimony Admissible


In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Exxon Mobil Corporation the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas has ruled that an industrial and organizational psychology expert witness possessed statistical expertise and should have his testimony admitted. The Court concluded:


The EEOC seeks to strike the expert opinion of Dr. P. Richard Jeanneret. The EEOC contends that Dr. Jeanneret has no knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education in any of the subjects relevant to this litigation, by arguing that Dr. Jeanneret does not possess any education or experience on the effects of aging on cognition, cardiovascular function, or general abilities, operations and medical testing of pilots. Additionally, the EEOC argues that Dr. Jeanneret did not familiarize himself with the techniques utilized by the authors of the studies he reviewed, did not take the time to read all of the publications generated by his research, and he does not understand why some publications were listed in his report as relevant to the formulation of his expert opinion.


Aside from these contentions, the EEOC admits that Dr. Jeanneret, among other things, is experienced in industrial and organizational psychology which includes the study of safety in the workplace. Dr. Jeanneret’s expert testimony includes the opinion that current pilot testing measures are less reliable than an age based rule. Exxon has shown that Dr. Jeanneret’s training, education, and knowledge allow him to statistically examine the reliability and validity of such testing measures. This testimony is relevant to the issue of continuing validity.


After review, the Court has determined that the EEOC’s arguments regarding Dr. Jeanneret’s expert opinion go to the weight to be given to the expert’s report and testimony, rather than to the admissibility. The EEOC was free to present contrary evidence and attempt to diminish the credibility of Dr. Jeanneret’s qualifications. Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike Defendant’s Expert Dr. P. Richard Jeanneret and Brief in Support Thereof (Doc. No. 92) is DENIED.