In a negligence lawsuit, the testimony of an expert witness may be crucial to provide evidence supporting or refuting the allegations. A qualified expert may testify as to the standard of care, causation, damages, and/or other elements of the claim. In a February 2, 2021 Maryland personal injury case, the Court of Special Appeals considered whether the opinion testimony of an expert was properly allowed by the trial court. The appeal was brought by the defendant after a jury awarded damages to the plaintiff resulting from his exposure to lead paint.
The plaintiff in the case had resided in a property owned by the defendant from his birth in December of 1991 to March of 1993. The plaintiff claimed that as a result of his exposure to chipping, lead-based paint at the property, he suffered permanent cognitive deficits. The plaintiff further alleged that the defendant’s negligence in failing to remove the lead-based paint from the property was a substantial contributing factor in causing his injuries.
At trial, the plaintiff presented testimony from multiple expert witnesses, including an expert in the field of lead-based paint detection, a clinical psychologist, a neurodevelopment pediatrician and a vocational rehabilitation consultant. The jury ultimately returned a verdict finding that the defendant was negligent and awarded the plaintiff nearly $885,000 in future noneconomic damages and past damages.