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Expert testimony necessary for jury to consider whether bar stool is defective. Daubert motion granted to exclude medical expert who did not consider other injuries.

April 1, 2017
Vincent v. Harrington Raceway, Inc. v. Olsen, No. K14C-05-013 RBY, 2017 Del. Super. LEXIS 58 (Del. Super. Ct. Feb. 7, 2017)

The plaintiff was injured on the defendant’s property when another person fell on top of her, apparently because the chair portion of the person’s bar stool separated from the seat portion. The plaintiff did not retain a liability expert, and the defendant moved in limine to exclude evidence that the bar stool was defective. The court granted the motion, holding that “[p]roof regarding the dangerous nature of [a bar stool] requires expert testimony, since such proof is outside the ordinary knowledge of a layperson,” even though people are generally familiar with bar stools. The court also held that one of the plaintiff’s two medical experts could not testify at trial because the doctor did not consider that the plaintiff had broken his hand three months after the initial injury and, therefore, “[f]ailed to show basic awareness of another possible cause of plaintiff’s alleged injuries.” The court explained that the doctor’s opinion on causation lacked “[t]he reliability that is the hallmark of admissible expert testimony” under Rule 702.


Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2017

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