Friday, September 4, 2015

The requirements of expert testimony.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division affirmed the trial court's determination that the testimony of the plaintiff's civil engineering expert did not support the causes of action. The expert testified that his conclusions were based on reports prepared and photographs taken by others, and that he had not personally observed any of the defendants' work. The expert's testimony made clear that he did not know which contractor had performed the work that was allegedly substandard and was thus being repaired at the plaintiff's expense, as he first visited the construction site approximately 16 months after the defendants withdrew from the job. In addition, the spreadsheet prepared by the plaintiff's expert itemizing the alleged costs of the repairs was rife with inaccuracies, and the expert admitted that this spreadsheet was "flawed."

Student note:  An expert's opinion testimony must be based on facts in the record or personally known to the witness. An expert may not reach a conclusion by assuming material facts not supported by the evidence, and may not guess or speculate in drawing a conclusion.

Case:  Johnson v. Robertson, NY Slip Op 06658 (2d Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tuesday's issue:  An allegation of false arrest or imprisonment, and the defense of probable cause.