Florida Supreme Court Rules ‘Expert Witness’ Standard Unconstitutional

In a 4-3 decision, the Justices of the Florida Supreme Court overturned a ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeals, and reinstated an $8 million verdict awarded in an asbestos lawsuit. The court found that the standard by which expert witness testimony is weighed in Florida – the ‘Daubert’ standard as compared to the previously-used ‘Frye’ standard – amounted to an unfair burden placed upon parties in cases where scientific evidence is crucial.

From CBS Miami:

“During the legislative debate supporters of moving to the Daubert standard, which is used in federal courts, argued it could help prevent the use of “junk science” in court cases. The standard includes a three-part test in determining whether expert testimony can be admitted. That test involves whether the testimony is “based upon sufficient facts or data;” whether it is the “product of reliable principles and methods;” and whether a witness has “applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.”

But opponents argued that using the standard in Florida courts would make cases more expensive and time-consuming — effectively making it harder for people to pursue lawsuits.”

The Supreme Court’s full opinion on the matter can be found HERE.

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