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Experiments and Tests: Cases Summarized By Injury Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Experiments and Tests and the related topic of personal injury. For more information on Experiments see the pages on Wikipedia. 

Experiments and Tests-Cases

2005 Holley v. Pambianco, 270 Va. 180, 613 S.E.2d 425.

Trial court erred in admitting evidence in this medical malpractice action of general statistical information related to the frequency of problems relating to diagnostic and surgical excision procedures where there was no informed consent claim.

1995 Wood v. Bass Pro Shops, 250 Va. 297, 462 S.E.2d 101.

Experiments and tests.Defendant wished to conduct demonstration in front of jury. Trial court refused. Defendant made no proffer of proposed demonstration and therefore matter cannot be considered on appeal.

1991 Greater Richmond Transit Co. v. Wilkerson, 242 Va. 65, 406 S.E.2d 28.

Experiments and tests.Plaintiff called defendant’s employee as witness to describe results of his test on parking brake of bus. This was not intended to be reconstruction of circumstances of accident but merely to show that this employee’s test indicated unaltered brakes were not defective; as such it was admissible.

1989 Runyon v. Geldner, 237 Va. 460, 377 S.E.2d 456.

Plaintiff fell on driveway that had been coated with sealant. Plaintiff’s expert testified based on inspection long after accident. No foundation laid to show that condition of driveway on day of accident was same as on date of inspection. Therefore testimony should not have been allowed.

1988 Reynolds v. Riggs, 234 Va. 653, 363 S.E.2d 713.

Experiments and tests.Plaintiff ran into unlit truck that had jackknifed across road. Defendant offered evidence of test as to sight distance along road. Not admissible since lighting different, speed of vehicle different, person conducting test had prior knowledge of what he was going to see, and several other differences in conditions.

1984 Mary Washington Hosp. v. Gibson, 228 Va. 95, 319 S.E.2d 741.

Experiments and tests.Plaintiff attempted to offer evidence of experiment in slip and fall case to show flow of water at time of accident. Plaintiff failed to show conditions at time of experiment were same or substantially similar in essential particulars to those existing at time of accident.

1984 Hoffner v. Kreh, 227 Va. 48, 313 S.E.2d 656.

Experiments and tests.Pedestrian struck while apparently lying on roadway. State trooper was permitted by trial court to testify as to test he conducted three nights after accident wherein he basically simulated accident. Supreme Court did not rule on admissibility of that evidence.

1979 Featherall v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 219 Va. 949, 252 S.E.2d 354.

Results of experiments and tests are inadmissible in evidence unless tests were made under conditions that were same or substantially similar in essential particulars to those existing at time of accident. Here evidence was held inadmissible. Moreover, tests during trial were properly denied, defendants being afforded no reasonable time to evaluate such test.

1913 Habers v. Madigan, 213 Va. 485, 193 S.E.2d 653.

Experiments and tests made out of court to determine visibility existing at particular time and place does not have to be made under identical conditions and circumstances. Where experiment made year after collision did not involve moving vehicles and had other dissimilar conditions, it was reversible error to admit evidence of results.

1968 Virginia Stage Lines v. Brockman Chevrolet, Inc., 209 Va. 188, 163 S.E.2d 148.

Police officer conducted visibility tests at scene of accident which were incomplete and of little or no probative value.

1968 Saunders v. Bulluck, 208 Va. 551, 159 S.E.2d 820.

Tests were conducted after auto accident to determine possible stopping distance. Such tests are admissible if conducted under substantially similar circumstances.

1964 Doss v. Martin, 205 Va. 306, 136 S.E.2d 854.

Visibility test at night was admissible.

1959 Portsmouth Transit Co. v. Brickhouse, 200 Va. 844, 108 S.E.2d 385.

Evidence as to line of vision of bus driver was inadmissible since it did not simulate conditions existing at time of accident.

1958 Richardson v. Lovvorn, 199 Va. 688, 101 S.E.2d 511.

Police officer conducted skid test to determine how fast defendant’s car was traveling to put down 59 feet of skid marks.

1955 Lane v. Hampton, 197 Va. 46, 87 S.E.2d 803.

Plaintiff’s decedent struck and killed by defendant’s vehicle while decedent lay unconscious on sharp left hand curve. Defendant failed to see body as he rounded curve at night. Error to allow father of decedent to testify that on day before trial, during daylight, he drove around curve and could see object lying where decedent’s body had lain. Experiment was made under circumstances quite different from those existing at time of accident.

1948 Doss v. Rader, 187 Va. 231, 46 S.E.2d 434.

Tests conducted after accident not admissible unless conducted under same circumstances. Tests in this case to determine noise level at time of accident not admissible.

1946 Virginia Stage Lines v. Duff, 185 Va. 592, 39 S.E.2d 634.

Defendant, after accident, reenacted movement of vehicles to demonstrate that plaintiff was traveling at excessive speed. This evidence is not conclusive since there were disputes as to distance of plaintiff’s vehicle from intersection when defendant began his turn.

1943 Bell v. Kenney, 181 Va. 24, 23 S.E.2d 781.

Experimental results will not be admissible unless conducted under essentially same circumstances as actual incident. Here defendant offered evidence of experiment to show that witness in back seat of auto could not see position of approaching vehicle. Held: inadmissible.

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Experiments and Tests: Cases Summarized By Injury Lawyer

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