The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on the motion to exclude Plaintiff's expert and strike his report filed by Defendant the United States of America. (Doc. 127). Plaintiff Joseph Buechel has responded to the motion. (Doc. 129).
At all relevant times in this case, Mr. Buechel was an inmate at FCI-Greenville located in Greenville, Illinois. While in FCI-Greenville, Mr. Buechel contracted the "MRSA" virus. Mr. Buechel alleges that he contracted the virus while working in the laundry room at FCI-Greenville with his co-worker Joe Hansen. The record indicates that Mr. Hansen suffered from multiple wounds on his back, arm and thigh. Mr. Buechel alleges that he contracted MRSA from Mr. Hansen when the two were working in the laundry room and passing back and forth tools.
Plaintiff is seeking to present at trial Dr. Robert B. Greifinger as an expert in "the fields correctional health care and infectious diseases in a correctional setting." (Pl.['s] Resp. to Def['s] Mot. at 1). Dr. Greifinger has been a physician for over forty years. He has worked for such entities as the United States Public Health System, 1972-1974, and the New York State Department of Correctional Services, 1989-1995. Currently, Dr. Greifinger is a consultant for Medical Management and Quality Improvement Services where he consults "on the design management, operations, quality improvement, and utilization management for correctional health care systems."(Def['s] Mot. Ex. A). Dr. Greifinger's report indicates that he believes FCI-Greenville failed to follow their own policies regarding treatment and management of MRSA and other communicable diseases. Further, he indicates that FCI-Greenville has a history of failing to follow these policies, and that these failures were the proximate cause of Mr. Buechel's injuries.
Defendant argues that "1) [Dr. Greifinger] is not qualified to render an expert opinion on infectious diseases and/or what caused plaintiff to have MRSA; 2) his opinions on the standard of medical care in correctional settings, the cause of plaintiff's MRSA infection, and the spread of MRSA in prison is not based on identifiably reliable methodology; and 3) his opinion would not assist the Court in understanding the evidence." Id. at 1. Mr. Buechel responds by arguing that 1) Defendant's argument that Dr. Greifinger is not qualified is based on a mischaracterization of the record; 2) Dr. Greifinger's methods are reliable; and 3) that his testimony would help the trier of fact.
Admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 702, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), and its progeny. In Daubert, the Supreme Court held that Federal Rule of Evidence 702 did not incorporate the "general acceptance" test set forth in Frye v. United States, 54 App. D.C. 46 (D.C. Cir. 1923). Instead, the Court held that Rule 702 required district judges to be gatekeepers for proposed scientific evidence. Daubert, 509 U.S. at 589; see also General Elec. v. Joiner, 522 U.S. 136, 142 (1997).
In 2000, Rule 702 was amended in response to Daubert. United States v. Conn, 297 F.3d 548, 555 (7th Cir. 2002). In its current form, it reads as follows:
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
The Court's role is to conduct a three-part analysis: "' the witness must be qualified "as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, Fed.R.Evid. 702,  the expert's reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony must be scientifically reliable, Daubert, 509 U.S. at 592-93, 113 S.Ct. 2786; and  the testimony must assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue." Ervin v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc., 492 F.3d 901, 904 (7th Cir. 2007).
The purpose of the Daubert inquiry is to scrutinize proposed expert witness testimony to determine if it has "the same level of intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field" so as to be deemed reliable enough to present to a jury. Lapsley v. Xtech, Inc., 2012 WL 3055865, 1 (7th Cir. 2012) (citing Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 152, (1999)). A Daubert inquiry is not designed to have the district judge take the place of the jury to decide ultimate issues of credibility and accuracy. If the proposed expert testimony meets the Daubert threshold of relevance and reliability, the accuracy of the actual evidence is to be tested before the jury with the familiar tools of "vigorous ...