Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice cases often come down to expert testimony. On May 23rd, 2019, the Florida Supreme Court adopted the Daubert standard which now operates as the state’s evidentiary standard for the admissibility of expert testimony.
The difference between the Daubert standard, and the previous Frye standard, is under Frye, when an expert testified as to a certain procedure or methodology, it was up to the jury to deem whether that procedure is proper. The shift to Daubert strips that determination from the jury and instead places it in the hands of the court to determine whether or not the expert witness testimony is sufficient, thus, creating a mini-trial with the court before allowing the the jury to hear the expert testimony.
In addition, Daubert implements a five-prong test for the court to decide whether the expert testimony is valid: (1) whether the theory or technique in question can be and has been tested; (2) whether it has been subjected to peer review and publication; (3) its known or potential error rate; (4) the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation; and (5) whether it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community.
This could prove to have an impact on medical malpractice cases and personal injury cases moving forward. While this new standard does create a higher bar for expert testimony, as long as your attorney understands the impact of this new standard and is able to retain credible experts that will satisfy the five-prong test, the Daubert standard should not a play role in determining the outcome of your case.
Kaire & Heffernan, LLC is a Miami personal injury and medical malpractice law firm with years of experience in helping Florida families claim the justice they deserve.
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