We’ve been looking in recent posts at the use of expert witnesses in toxic tort litigation. As we’ve noted, expert testimony can be critical to identifying and explaining the scientific and biological facts central to a case. Selecting an appropriate expert can help build up a case, but it is important to work with an expert who has a good record.
Experts whose testimony has previously been excluded due to lack of reliability are carefully scrutinized by experienced attorneys to ensure the best possible testimony is available in a toxic tort case. For plaintiffs in toxic tort cases, it may be easier to work with an expert whose testimony or analysis has previously been excluded for lack of reliability.
One reason for this, according to some experts in the field, is that defendants challenge experts in court more often than plaintiffs do. If a defendant challenges the reliability of a plaintiff’s expert because of a previous exclusion, it is logically more difficult to defend previous exclusions for their own experts, so they tend to demand experts with clean records. Other reasons may exist as well, and some of the reasons are financial in nature.
For a plaintiff in toxic tort litigation, the important thing is to work with an experienced advocate who understands how to build the strongest possible case. This includes understanding how to select strong expert witnesses for the case to give the plaintiff the best possible opportunity to obtain compensation for his or her injuries and losses.