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Product Liability Law Relevant to Plaintiffs in Missouri: Expert Testimony

Avanced Legal Research, Fall 2017

Expert Testimony in Product Liability Cases

Missouri recently adopted the Daubert standard under V.A.M.S. 490.065 (had to link to Westlaw because it was one of only sources with updated language). The pertinent part of the statute states: 

(1) A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:

(a) The expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) The testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) The testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) The expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
 
Below are good places to start research on what exactly this is going to mean.

Secondary Sources

Since the Daubert standard is new to Missouri, it might be good to look toward other states that have adopted it before. You can find a list of states that have adopted the standard to look toward for guidance here.

Articles

8th Circuit's Application

Another great way to see what Missouri's adoption of the Daubert standard means is to look toward how the 8th Circuit has applied the Daubert standard, since Missouri is in the Eighth Circuit (there is actually a recognized circuit split in how to apply the Daubert standard - read more about that, and other interesting circuit court splits here).

A good representative case is Johnson v. Mead Johnson & Co., 754 F.3d 557 (8th Cir. 2014), in which the Eighth Circuit held that the reliability of the expert's method went more toward how much weight the juror should give their testimony rather than their admissibility. This may be influential in how Missouri applies the Daubert standard.