In the Bubba The Love Sponge ratings-tampering case, Judge James Whittemore has rejected an attempt by Bubba to have Nielsen’s expert witness David Haas disqualified as an expert witness. Bubba claimed Haas is no expert because he doesn’t have experience in the radio industry or the measurement of radio audiences.
The judge says Bubba’s team did not show that specific experience in the radio industry is required to calculate Nielsen’s damages in this case. Nielsen called it a “straw-man argument.” Haas has an M.B.A. with a specialization in management accounting, and he has experience in calculating damages in dozens of cases involving a variety of industries. The judge writes that “An individual need not be an expert in a particular field to offer an expert opinion on damages that is based on broadly applicable calculations and measurements.”
Whittemore goes on to say that the fact that Bubba’s rebuttal expert “has experience in the radio industry does not diminish the relevance and reliability of Haas’s own opinion, but rather goes to the respective persuasiveness and weight of the two experts’ opinions, which is an issue better addressed by a jury.”
Back in March, Nielsen said it had, so far, accumulated nearly $715,000 in legal expenses in this case as well as outside security consulting fees of over $40,000. Those expenses aside, Nielsen says the bulk of Nielsen’s damages calculation determined by Haas involved quantifying harm to Nielsen’s reputation and goodwill.
Nielsen is sueing Bubba for $1 million.