POsner v. Paso Oil Co.

Defendant's Motion In Limine Re Improper Expert Opinion

In trial today we are faced with more and more "so-called" expert opinions. Unfortunately, the expert's opinion is no better than the facts upon which it is based. In this high stakes slip an fall case on behalf of a defense client, I brought a Motion In Limine to limit or preclude a liability safety expert from opining that a particular walking surface was "dangerous" because "oil or some other contaminant must have been present." The prolific expert, Brad Avrit, P.E., was essentially testifying that the plaintiff would not have fallen unless some slippery substance was present. That is a round about way of arguing "res ipsa loquitur" which is not permissible in a slip and fall case. There was a complete absence of liability evidence---no one saw "oil or other contaminant", including the plaintiff herself. There was no after acquired evidence such as oil on clothing or a visable skid or scuff mark. The plaintiff was simply using an expert for an improper purpose---to create evidence where none existed. This is a classic example of the improper foundation for an expert opinion.

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Published In: Civil Procedure Updates, Personal Injury Updates

Reference Info:Pleadings | State, 9th Circuit, California | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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