New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department
Expert witness – Motor vehicle accident
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The plaintiff commenced an action after suffering injuries when the defendant’s vehicle collided with a vehicle operated by the plaintiff. The collision occurred while the plaintiff’s vehicle was stopped at a red light in the left-turn-only lane. The defendant’s vehicle struck the plaintiff’s vehicle from behind. The plaintiff appealed from the denial of his motion to set aside the verdict.
Ruling: The Appellate Division reversed. The court held that, while the officer who authored the police report and testified at the trial was qualified as an expert witness, he testified prior to trial that he did not witness the collision and that his conclusion regarding the cause of the collision was based solely on hearsay.
Carey C. Beyer, of Francis M. Letro Attorneys and Counselors at Law, for the plaintiffs-appellants; Justin L. Hendricks, of Kenney Shelton Liptak Nowak, for the defendant-respondent.