In many personal injury actions, expert witness evidence can be an essential part of your case. The difference between getting your experts in and having them excluded may make the difference between success and defeat. This is one of many places in which seasoned New Orleans injury counsel can help you put together a strong and persuasive case by helping you ensure that your expert witness evidence gets in front of your jury.
An example of what is (and is not) required in order to get expert opinion evidence admitted was on display in the case of Blake and Courtney. The pair were a couple who had a termite problem in their home. They retained the services of a pest company to deal with their termite problem. After the company treated the home for termites, the couple and their children allegedly began experiencing headaches, nausea, dizziness, and confusion.
The couple eventually sued the pest company for their injuries. The lower court granted summary judgment to the pest company, but the Supreme Court reversed that decision, which meant that the homeowners’ case was revived, and they could resume pursuing the pest company.
The importance of this case for many Louisiana residents who suffer injuries is not in the factual details regarding the pest company’s services and the homeowners’ injuries. Instead, the important part of the ruling related to the broader issue of what is required by the law in order for an expert witness to offer opinion testimony in a trial.
The pest company in Blake and Courtney’s case had asked the trial judge to exclude four expert witnesses whom the homeowners wanted to offer: two medical toxicologists, a Ph.D. toxicologist, and an industrial hygienist. The Supreme Court explained that the rules for expert witnesses only require the plaintiff to offer evidence that the expert’s methodology has been subjected to peer review or publication. The fact that the experts in this case had written zero peer-reviewed articles about the chemical the pest company used was, by itself, not enough to exclude the experts.
Another important point the court highlighted is that experts need not do quantitative analysis in order to be allowed to offer opinions regarding causation. An expert’s opinion testimony regarding what caused a plaintiff’s injuries can be an extremely important part of the plaintiff’s case. The high court stated that experts can establish causation through either quantitative or qualitative analysis.
All of that may sound like very technical “legalese.” What you should take away from this ruling is that there is much that goes into getting a court to allow your expert witnesses to testify in your personal injury case. It requires a detailed knowledge of Louisiana law and procedure. For all of your legal needs related to your personal injury case, reach out to the Cardone Law Firm, where our experienced Louisiana injury lawyers have spent many years providing our clients with the creative and diligent representation their cases deserve.
For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.
More Blog Posts:
Louisiana Plaintiff’s Use of Expert Opinion Evidence Was Enough to Avoid Dismissal of Her Auto Accident Case, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Aug. 10, 2017
Trial Court Shouldn’t Have Punished Medical Patient for Expert Witness’ Disappearance, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Jan. 5, 2015