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Force of Impact Engineering Testimony Allowed by Louisiana Fourth Circuit

The Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal recently granted a supervisory writ in Cleve Newman et al. v. George Savage et al., No. 2017-C-0078 to consider a Daubert ruling by the trial court on plaintiffs' Motions in Limine.

The trial court excluded expert testimony by defendants' expert engineers whose testimony on force-of-impact was presented on the issue of medical causation. The trial court had ruled that only physicians may testify on the issue of medical causation.

In reversing the trial court, the five-judge panel ruled that force-of-impact is a relevant factor that may be considered by a jury in determining whether a plaintiff was injured in an accident. An expert's opinion of speed, rate of aceleration, force of impact and the correlation to possible inuries would assist the jury in its determination of medical causation.

The panel also specifically overruled the trial court's holding that only physicians may testify on medical causation, to the exclustion of other non-medical experts.

This decision, rendered on January 31, 2017, harmonizes the Fourth Circuit with other Louisiana appeal courts.

A PDF copy of the decision is available for download below.

Newman v Savage Supervisory Writ - Daubert - Force of Impact Experts.pdf

W. Evan Plauché, 02/08/2017