Articles Tagged with expert testimony

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Expert testimony is often crucial to product liability cases in Georgia. After all, most people, notably those who serve on a civil jury, lack the technical knowledge of how a given product or manufacturing process works. That is why experts are employed by plaintiffs to establish causation.

Under Georgia law, a trial judge has the discretion to allow expert testimony if three conditions are met:

  • There are “sufficient facts or data” in the record to support the expert’s opinions;
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Expert testimony is often a critical component of a personal injury case. Judges and jurors are not technical experts and often require assistance in understanding evidence. When it comes to “simple negligence,” though, expert testimony is generally unnecessary. A jury does not need help when common sense is sufficient to weigh the evidence and reach a logical conclusion.

Gardner v. Clark

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently addressed a tragic case in which a trial judge improperly demanded expert testimony where none was necessary. The plaintiffs in this case were the children of a woman who died in November 2009. The mother lived in a mobile home that she rented from the defendant.

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Expert testimony is often the key to winning a product liability lawsuit. Anyone can offer an opinion on the safety, or lack thereof, of a given product. But trial courts must go one step further and determine the qualifications of an expert before admitting his or her testimony. Under Georgia law, expert testimony must be “based on sufficient facts or data.” It must be the “the product of reliable principles and method,” and the expert must personally apply those principles and methods to the case at hand.

Moore v. Cottrell, Inc.

In a recent case, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a trial court’s decision to exclude expert testimony in a product liability lawsuit. The plaintiff was driving a car hauler with a two-level trailer. The hauler did not have a built-in ladder, but there was a portable ladder attached so the driver could access the upper level of the trailer.