Witnesses are an integral part of almost every Indiana personal injury lawsuit; however, in most cases, the law limits this testimony to what the individual personally saw or experienced. In instances where a witness attempts to answer a question beyond the scope of their experience, the opposing party will likely object. However, expert witnesses, serve as an exception to this rule and are an essential part of Indiana product liability lawsuits.
Under the Indiana Products Liability Act, plaintiffs almost always need to produce expert testimony to meet their evidentiary burden. These experts provide professional insight into whether a defendant was the actual or proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. This is especially important in product hazard, recall, insufficient labeling and warning, and defect lawsuits. If a plaintiff does not meet this burden, the court will likely dismiss their case and grant summary judgment in favor of the defendant.
For example, in a recent opinion, a state appellate court recently affirmed an appellate court’s decision to grant summary judgment in favor of Johnson & Johnson, Consumer Inc. (JJCI), in a product liability case. In that case, the plaintiff alleged that she developed Mesothelioma after long-term use of JJCI’s cosmetic and baby powders. The woman filed a lawsuit against the company alleging, amongst other issues, that they were liable for negligence, intentional failure to warn/concealment, and loss of consortium. She argued that she developed Mesothelioma from asbestos in the company’s products. JJCI provided an expert witness who testified that the mines that JJCI sourced their talcum powder from did not contain asbestos. The court ruled in favor of the defendant because the plaintiff did not present any countering expert testimony to rebut the defendant’s expert.
Indiana product liability plaintiffs must understand their evidentiary burdens and abide by all procedural rules and regulations. Typically, the court will qualify an individual as an expert witness by evaluating their specialized knowledge, skills, and expertise in an area that is material to the case at hand. In most cases, the party presenting the expert must show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the expert possesses the requisite qualifications. After an expert meets these threshold qualifications, the expert must make sure to provide the court with a sufficient explanation of how they came to their conclusion. In essence, the expert must be reliable. Indiana product liability victims should make sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help them acquire, vet, and present their expert witness.
Have You Been Injured By a Dangerous or Defective Product?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured while using a dangerous or defective product, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The experienced Indiana personal injury attorneys at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse, LLP, are known for providing high-quality legal representation on behalf of injury victims. The attorneys at our law firm have decades of experience successfully handling Indiana product liability lawsuits, recovering substantial amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact our office at 888-532-7766 to discuss your Indiana personal injury lawsuit with an attorney at our law firm.