“Expert” Witnesses Successfully Challenged
The plaintiff, an attorney, alleged personal injuries and memory loss arising from exposure to carbon monoxide and other chemicals in leased office space. He consulted two experts in the field to support his claim. Attorney David Hassett argued on behalf of the defendant that the expert witnesses had performed no objective testing at the property to confirm the presence of carbon monoxide or other chemicals, and therefore had no basis to conclude that carbon monoxide was present or that the plaintiff was exposed to it. Attorney Hassett also pointed out that the proposed testimony that the plaintiff’s alleged memory problems were caused by exposure to carbon monoxide was conjecture. There was no medical evidence confirming that the plaintiff was exposed to carbon monoxide or that the plaintiff suffered any memory problems due to exposure to carbon monoxide. The court precluded both experts from testifying.
In an effort to portray himself sympathetically, the plaintiff testified that he was sanctioned by a judge for being unable to remember relevant facts during a hearing in bankruptcy court. Attorney Hassett challenged the plaintiff’s statement with documents obtained from the bankruptcy court that indicated the sanction was imposed due to the plaintiff’s violation of bankruptcy rules rather than a lapse in memory. The court granted a directed verdict for the defendant at the close of plaintiff’s evidence.