Brain Injury Plaintiff’s Biomechanic Expert Can Testify

Last week, a federal judge in Colorado found that a biomechanics expert’s opinion could go to a jury in a lawsuit alleging that a properly built snowboarding helmet would have minimized or prevented a plaintiff’s severe brain damage suffered in a snowboarding accident.

In the accident, plaintiff’s helmet broke, causing permanent brain injuries. Plaintiff alleged that the snowboarding helmet was improperly designed. Defendant alleged that plaintiffs’ expert could not withstand a Rule 702 challenge because his reliance on the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment was improper due to lack of scientific rigor in the organization’s testing. But most of the defendant’s arguments were, as is typical in these challenges, more appropriate for cross-examination than a basis to exclude the expert under the Federal Rules of Evidence. “Why didn’t you consider this standard?” and “Why did you use this test?” might be fair questions, but they do not, according to this court, render the expert’s testimony unreliable.

You can read the full opinion here.

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