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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides 2 today

In Henry C. Bennett and Schupan & Sons, Inc. v. John Richmond and Jennifer Richmond, a 15-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Sullivan writes:

The sole issue in this appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion when it permitted a psychologist to testify on behalf of a plaintiff in a personal injury case as to the cause of a brain injury.[1] Finding the trial court did not abuse its discretion in this regard, we affirm. * * *

Our review of the record, read in conjunction with the requirements of Rule 702, leads us to conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting Dr. McCabe’s causation testimony. The trial court extensively and thoughtfully considered the admissibility of Dr. McCabe’s testimony on three separate occasions during this litigation. Mindful that the trial court is afforded broad discretion in these matters, we decline to find any abuse of it. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
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[1] This case involves similar issues to those we address in another case decided today, Person v. Shipley, No. 20S03-1110-CT-609, ___ N.E.2d ___ (Ind. 2012).

In Reginald N. Person, Jr. v. Carol A. Shipley, a 9-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Sullivan writes:
As we reiterate today in Bennett, the trial court is considered the gatekeeper for the admissibility of expert opinion evidence under Rule 702. * * *

We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Dr. Turner’s opinions were based on reliable scientific principles that could be applied to the facts at issue. And, because we conclude that Dr. Turner’s testimony was properly admitted, we reject Shipley’s argument that Dr. Lazoff’s causation opinion should have been excluded by the trial court because it was based in part on Dr. Turner’s calculation of momentum transfer.

Conclusion. Again, mindful that the trial court judge is afforded broad discretion in these matters, we decline to find any abuse of it. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 31, 2012 12:19 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions