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Pelster v. Ray
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
987 F.2d 514 (1993)
The Mortons (defendants) ran South Central Auction, a used-car auction. The Mortons entered a car owned by U.S. Wholesales in the auction, and the Pelsters (plaintiffs) bought the car. The Pelsters sued the Mortons for fraud, alleging that the car’s odometer had been rolled back to reduce the number of miles showing on the car and that the Mortons were aware of the rollback. At trial, the Pelsters called Tom Ley as an expert witness. Ley testified regarding his review of documents covering the car’s history and his speaking with third parties, including former owners of the car, car dealers, people associated with U.S. Wholesales, and others. These documents and people provided information on the car’s odometer on a given day. Ley opined that the odometer of the car in dispute had been rolled back while in the possession of U.S. Wholesales. Overall, Ley opined that odometers had been rolled back on 300 of the 350 cars auctioned at South Central Auction. Ley also opined that U.S. Wholesales had been responsible for 204 of those rolled-back odometers. The court ruled in the Pelsters’ favor. The Mortons appealed on the ground that Ley’s testimony was improper.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wollman, J.)
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