Legal Memorandum: Expert Testimony in Products Liability Claims in TX

Issue: Is an expert’s testimony necessary in an accident involving a Products Liability claim in Texas?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Products Liability Claim; Expert testimony; Accident
Jurisdiction: Texas
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: Texas Rules of Evidence Rule 702
Date: 04/01/2013

There is no requirement that an expert always visit the accident scene.  See Taylor v. Am. Fabritech Inc., 132 S.W.3d 613, 620 (Tex. App.–Houston [14th Dist.] 2004).  (over objection that no expert testimony was needed on subject of the necessity and adequacy of safety protection around skylights in building construction, court said “this is clearly not a matter within the knowledge of the average juror”); Grieve v. Red Roof Inns, Inc., No. 13-99-660-CV, 2001 (Tex App–Corpus Christi Aug. 31 2001) (over objection that jury did not need expert testimony on whether step in a stairway was dangerous, appellate court reversed trial court and stated: “whether the step at issue complied with the building code and whether a reasonable building owner would recognize that this step did not comply with the code and presented a danger are matters that fall outside the common knowledge of the average juror.  We believe this is exactly the kind of scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge that would assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue that is envisaged by Rule 702.”).

“An expert’s testimony is relevant when it assists the jury in determining an issue or in understanding other evidence.”  TXI Transp. Co. v. Hughes, 306 S.W.3d 230, 235 (Tex. 2010). 


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