Legal Memorandum: Expert Testimony and Proximate Cause

Issue: Is expert testimony required to establish proximate cause?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Proximate cause; Circumstantial evidence; Expert testimony
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 724 F.2d 613
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 09/01/2011

Expert testimony is not always required to establish proximate cause; circumstantial evidence may suffice.  Buckley v. General Motors Corp., 54 Fed. Appx. 712, 713 (2d Cir. 2003); Arnold v. Krause, Inc., 233 F.R.D. 126, 132 (W.D.N.Y. 2005). 

See Kumho v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 156 (1999); (expert testimony does not require that expert collect own data or conduct own tests); Gussack Realty Co. v. Xerox Corp., 224 F.3d 85, 94-95 (2d Cir. 2000). Instead, “an expert might draw a conclusion based on extensive and specialized experience.” Kehm v. Proctor & Gamble Co., 580 F. Supp. 890, 903 (N.D. Iowa 1982) (expert may properly base opinion on studies conducted by others), aff’d, 724 F.2d 613 (8th Cir. 1983).


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