New Jersey Appellate Court Affirms Trial Court's Decision to Disqualify Plaintiff's Expert and Grant Summary Judgment in Favor of Goodell DeVries' Client

By: Thomas J. Cullen Jr. | 4.28.17 | Media

The Superior Court of New Jersey, after appellate argument by Thomas J. Cullen, Jr., affirmed the trial court’s decision to bar plaintiff’s sole expert witness on the grounds he intended to offer inadmissible opinions regarding additional safety warnings and design alternatives. Cross-examination of plaintiff’s expert revealed deficiencies in the expert’s opinions, and provided the basis for a summary judgment motion. The trial court, after argument from Mr. Cullen, held the expert lacked subject-matter expertise and possessed an inadequate factual basis for the formation of his opinions. With the expert barred from testifying the client’s motion for summary judgment was granted as the expert was critical to plaintiff’s case. On appeal, Mr. Cullen argued the expert was unable to satisfy New Jersey’s standards for the admission of expert testimony. The Appellate Division agreed; it found the expert’s opinions to be “nothing more than bare assertions,” as it upheld the trial court’s decision to exclude the testimony and dismiss the case.