Friday 9 May 2014


If plaintiff's counsel is successful in posturing his motion so that the only expert's affidavit before the Court is the plaintiff's treating physician/s, what is the legal result? In other words, what is the legal consequence when an expert's testimony is un-rebutted by expert testimony? The seminal case appears to be State v. Brown (1983), 5 Ohio St. 3d 133. In that case, the issue was presented in the context of an insanity defense. The criminal defendant offered expert testimony on the issue of his insanity. The state attempted to rebut this expert testimony without any expert witnesses. The Ohio Supreme Court stated:
The expert's opinion, even if uncontradicted, is not conclusive. At the same time, it may not be arbitrarily ignored, and some reasons must be objectively present for ignoring expert opinion testimony. (id. p. 135)(emphasis added).

This same principle has been applied in civil cases. Steusloff v. Steusloff, 1999 WL 576041 (Ohio App. 6 Dist.)(a finder of fact must accept un-refuted testimony as true unless there are objective reasons that appear in the record to show that a reasonable basis existed to support the fact finder's determination that the testimony was not credible); Walker v. Holland (1997), 117 Ohio App. 3d 775;Farrell v. Stewart, 1993 WL 367401 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.)(the mere fact that medical testimony is uncontroverted does not require a jury to accept it as conclusive where there are objectively discernible reasons to reject expert testimony); Minney v. Guthrie, 1989 WL 2182 (Ohio App. 2nd Dist.).
The rule is not so simplistic that he who has an expert wins. Arguably, producing expert based evidence should be an advantage but it is not conclusive. 
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