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"Judicial gullibility"

Professor David Faigman of the Science & Law Blog points us to the case of Sullivan v. Ford Motor Co., 2000 WL 343777 (S.D.N.Y.), where Judge Casey admitted the testimony of a plaintiff's expert under Daubert, explaining:

The fact that [the expert] did not know all of the precise details about the accident at issue in this case does not indicate that his expertise based on his experiences investigating approximately 15,000 road accidents, preparing approximately 10,000 reports based on these investigations, witnessing approximately 100 test crashes, authoring studies based on his observations, as well as his education in the area of physics, mechanical engineering and law, would not be helpful to the jury in determining this factual issue.

As Faigman notes,

Brief reflection on the expert's claimed experience suggests that it is somewhat incredible. To have investigated 15,000 accidents, he would have had to visit approximately two accident scenes every working day for 30 years. This leaves little time to write 10,000 accident reports.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.