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Expert Testimony-Adequate Basis for Admissibility

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases on expert testimony reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Expert Testimony-Adequate Basis for Admissibility and the related topic of personal injury.  For more information on expert witnesses see the pages on Wikipedia.

Expert Testimony-Statutes

Va. Code § 8.01-401.1 which allows expert testimony in civil actions without necessity of posing hypothetical questions and allows such expert testimony to rely upon facts not necessarily admissible into evidence.

Va. Code § 8.01-390.2 dealing with the admissibility of reports by the chief medical examiner. Such reports as properly authenticated are admissible.

Expert Testimony-Cases

2015 Hyundai Motor Company v. Duncan, 766 S.E.2d 893.
Fourteen-million-dollar judgment is reversed based upon inadequacy of expert testimony. Plaintiff’s airbag expert stated that the sensor was placed in the wrong location. The expert had not conducted any independent testing; he relied on manufacturer’s own sensor-location study back when the car was designed. He did perform a crash-severity analysis and compared the severity of this crash with the manufacturer’s unquestioned desire for bag deployment at a lower impact speed. The court concluded this evidence was inadmissible because neither the expert nor the manufacturer had tested the precise location that the expert had indicated would be best. Court stated that this testimony failed to establish that another sensor location would have produced deployment of the bag and prevented the injury.

2012 Arnold v. Wallace, 283 Va. 709, 725 S.E.2d 539.
Trial court did not err in refusing to disqualify defense expert witness because she was a member of the same medical group as the expert plaintiff had initially retained in the case. There was no showing any confidential or privileged information was conveyed by the plaintiff to the first expert or by that expert to the defense witness.

2011 CNH America v. Smith, 281 Va. 60, 704 S.E.2d 372.
Trial Court erred in admitting testimony of plaintiff’s two expert witnesses. One expert testified that because a hose in this case failed that it was a manufacturer’s defect. That is insufficient basis for such conclusion. Second expert admitted that he was not an expert in hydraulic systems of mowers and had no experience in the design or manufacture of such or other agriculture equipment and therefore had inadequate qualifications.

2008 Norfolk and Portsmouth Railroad v. Wilson, 276 Va. 739, 667 S.E.2d 735.<
Plaintiffs offer expert testimony as to prevailing industry standards for close clearances in Virginia. The expert expressed the opinion that the same standard applied in all states and he explained that standard in detail. That was sufficient foundation for his opinion.

2007 Holmes v. Levine, 273 Va. 150, 639 S.E.2d 235.
In this medical malpractice action, doctor testified as to the cause of death from the death certificate. That was improper since there is no evidence that the doctor relied upon the death certificate.

2006 Blue Ridge Serv. Corp. v. Saxon Shoes, Inc., 271 Va. 206, 624 S.E.2d 55.
Plaintiff filed suit against defendant cleaning service alleging that employees of cleaning service were cause of fire in plaintiff’s building. Plaintiff’s expert testimony on origin of fire and causation concluded that the fire originated as a result of smoking material discarded in the trash can. It was admitted that nobody saw any employee of the defendant smoking during the period of time when they were cleaning the premises and all of the employees maintained that they did not smoke in the building. This evidence was insufficient as to causation and absent proof of causation, there was no actionable negligence. As such, the expert testimony should not have been admitted and the case should have been stricken.

2005 Bussey v. E.S.C. Rests., Inc., 270 Va. 531, 620 S.E.2d 764.
Food poisoning case where plaintiff’s treating physician testified that her symptoms were caused by food poisoning. Even though there had been no laboratory tests conducted of the food, that was not required for the medical doctor to express an opinion as to the food poisoning.

2005 Norfolk S. Ry. v. Rogers, 270 Va. 468, 621 S.E.2d 59.
In this FELA case, trial court improperly admitted expert testimony as to silica exposure. The expert testimony did not have sufficient factual foundation since the witness acknowledged that in order to determine the allowable silica level, it is necessary to know the silica content of the material being tested. He admitted that he did not know that and without that factual predicate, he could not express any opinions as to exposure levels.

2005 Vasquez v. Mabini, 269 Va. 155, 606 S.E.2d 809.
Wrongful death action where plaintiff offered expert testimony of economist as to future lost earnings of decedent. The economic value of the decedent’s lost income was projected from a base of $16,000 per year beginning the day after the accident and continuing until retirement. It was admitted, however, that the decedent had little experience as a clerical worker, had earned less than $1,000 the previous year and that her annual earnings for the preceding several years had never exceeded $7,000. In calculating the value of decedent’s lost services, protection, care, and assistance, the expert made the assumption that her son would have lived throughout the mother’s remaining life expectancy and that he would continue as an adult dependent throughout that time. In fact, the expert was aware the son had died before trial. Based upon all of this, there was an insufficient foundation laid for the opinions.

2003 Norfolk & W. Ry. Co. v. Keeling, 265 Va. 228, 576 S.E.2d 452.
In this FELA case, employer attempted to present evidence of biomechanical engineer as to cause of physical injury. Objection to that testimony was properly sustained. Only medical doctor can give expert testimony as to cause of human physical injury.

2002 John v. Im, 263 Va. 315, 559 S.E.2d 694.
Auto accident case where plaintiff alleged brain injury based upon quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG). Appellate court refused to consider several articles concerning QEEG testing because plaintiff failed to submit them to the trial court. Expert who testified as to QEEG could not identify person who actually performed QEEG test on plaintiff. Expert was unable to account for testing variables including plaintiff’s use of certain medications and expert gave conflicting responses when asked about testing variable of drowsiness of plaintiff. Licensed psychologist who attempted to testify as to QEEG was not medical doctor and was not qualified to state an expert medical opinion regarding causation of plaintiff’s brain injury. Supreme court expressly stated that it reserved any determination as to whether Daubert analysis was to be adopted in Virginia.

2002 Jones v. Ford Motor Co., 263 Va. 237, 559 S.E.2d 592.
Products liability action involving sudden acceleration of Ford vehicle. Study conducted by Ford of 2,900 unsworn claims by motorists of unintended acceleration events was inadmissible to show Ford’s notice of alleged defect. There was no evidence that claims mentioned in study occurred under substantially similar circumstances as incident in question or had been caused by similar or same defects and dangers. Likewise, expert for plaintiff could not rely upon those claims as predicate for opinions.

2001 Bosley v. Shepherd, 262 Va. 641, 554 S.E.2d 77.
Expert testimony that general contractor and steel erection contractor violated general provisions of OSHA. That testimony was not properly admissible as there was no evidence that defendants violated any specific duty imposed by OSHA and trial court improperly allowed expert to suggest that defendants were negligent because accident occurred. The OSHA provisions that the expert referred to were very general and did not relate to specific acts of misconduct by defendant.

2001 Norfolk S. Ry. v. Bowles, 261 Va. 21, 539 S.E.2d 727.
In this FELA case, court concluded that expert testimony in ergonomics analysis and vocational assessment that railroad failed to provide safe workplace was admissible. Ergonomics analysis performed by expert focused on employee’s task of compressing absorber while operating wheel truing machine and on basis of that analysis and review of other materials, expert formed his opinions that work task was not safe and that employer should have provided employee a mechanical device to perform task. In this case, expert expressed opinion as to whether task itself was safe. That determination is not solely a function of logic. Task’s safety, for purposes of imposing liability on employer, is determined by its effect on the body and whether there is need for alternative means of performing task. Expert’s opinions in this instance were admissible because those opinions, informed by his acknowledged expertise in the area, could assist jury in determining fact in issue, i.e., whether work place was safe.

2000 Keesee v. Donigan, 259 Va. 157, 524 S.E.2d 645.
>In this auto accident case, defendant attempted to present expert testimony of accident reconstruction expert concerning average human perception and reaction times. Expert acknowledged he had not tested defendant’s vision or assessed cognitive and physical abilities but assumed that they were normal and based upon that, stated that driver requires average of 1.5 seconds between recognizing hazard and executing action to avoid it. Defense then argued that defendant had insufficient time to avoid impact. This evidence was not properly admissible.

1999 Breeden v. Roberts, 258 Va. 411, 518 S.E.2d 834.
In this auto accident case, defendant’s truck began to fishtail, crossed the double yellow line, and collided with plaintiff’s vehicle. Defendant’s rear bumper and left rear tire struck front of plaintiff’s vehicle. Defendant testified that when he applied brakes, rear of his truck slipped out to right. Defendant offered expert testimony from mechanic who was prepared to testify that left rear brake adjuster was frozen. Defendant sought to have this witness explain to jury how frozen brake adjuster would effect operation and performance of vehicle. Trial court improperly excluded that evidence. Evidence was relevant because it tended to support defendant’s contention about why he lost control of his truck.

1999 Holmes v. Doe, 257 Va. 573, 515 S.E.2d 117.
In this auto accident case, trial court properly permitted introduction of expert testimony concerning relationship between tire tread depth and hydroplaning by motor vehicle. Expert expressed opinion that tire tread depth of 232 inches was unsafe although Va. Code § 46.2-1043 sets minimum statutory tread depth as being 232 inches. Statute does not address specific safety concerns for operating vehicle with minimum depth treads under circumstances of this case. As such, this testimony was permissible. Expert further only testified about hypothetical tire, road, and weather conditions in order to explain principles of hydroplaning. Expert testimony was appropriate to aid jury in putting other factual evidence into appropriate context from which jury could draw its own conclusions.

1999 Virginia Elec. & Power Co. v. Dungee, 258 Va. 235, 520 S.E.2d 164.< >In this case involving electrical injury to child, Virginia Power sought to present expert testimony from child psychologist that child of similar age, intelligence, and experience to plaintiff would have understood dangers of electrical sub-station. Trial court properly excluded that.

1998 Combs v. Norfolk & W. Ry., 256 Va. 490, 507 S.E.2d 355.
Expert in field of biomechanical engineering was qualified to render expert testimony on compression forces placed on plaintiff’s spine at time of incident but because he was not medical doctor he was not qualified to give medical opinion regarding what factors caused human disc to rupture

1998 Hegwood v. Virginia Natural Gas, 256 Va. 362, 505 S.E.2d 372
Action against gas company based upon carbon monoxide death of tenants. Plaintiff’s expert testimony that gas company should have discontinued gas supply at meter. Trial court improperly excluded that testimony. Expert further testified that boiler should have been red tagged for back drafting just as hot water heater was red tagged for back drafting since both appliances were vented into the same chimney. There was no factual basis for expert to conclude that condition at time of service by gas company employee on March 11, 1993, was same as when death occurred twenty months later. Therefore insufficient basis for this opinion.

1997 Griffin v. The Spacemaker Group, 254 Va. 141, 486 S.E.2d 541.
Plaintiff injured by fork lift. Plaintiff sought to introduce expert testimony of two witnesses to testify as to defect in fork lift concerning length of time it would take for abrasion of hydraulic hoses to occur and whether that condition and other defects would have been obvious at the time of reconditioning of machinery. Trial court improperly excluded this evidence. These experts did not base their opinion solely on observation of end condition of hoses but rather each considered structure and design of hoses and force necessary to cause abrasion of their exterior coating and interior lining. These are not matters within common knowledge of jurors and therefore would have been of benefit to jury.

1996 Chapman v. City of Virginia Beach, 252 Va. 186, 475 S.E.2d 798.
Wrongful death action involving death of child. Plaintiff sought to offer expert testimony from human factor psychologist that physical properties of gate created hazard and that it was reasonably foreseeable that child’s head could become trapped in gate section. This was within ordinary understanding of jury and as such testimony improperly admitted.

1996 David A. Parker Enters. v. Templeton, 251 Va. 235, 467 S.E.2d 488.
Plaintiff allegedly struck by propeller blade on boat. A factual dispute exists as to whether or not engine was in gear or not in gear at time of injury. Medical doctors testified that injury was slicing-type injury and that propeller was rotating at time of injury. Opinion as to type of injury was admissible but opinion as to whether or not propeller was rotating is beyond the scope of expert testimony because jury was equally capable of making that determination.

1995 Tittsworth v. Robinson, 252 Va. 151, 475 S.E.2d 261.<
Rear-end accident where trial court allowed expert in field of mechanical engineering and gravity acceleration impact analysis and biomechanical engineering to testify as to whether rear-end accident could have caused herniated disc. Expert testimony cannot be speculative or founded upon assumptions that have insufficient factual basis. Such testimony is inadmissible if expert has failed to consider all variables that bear on inferences to be deduced from facts. Where tests are involved, such testimony should be excluded unless there is proof that conditions existing at time of test and at time relevant to facts at issue are substantially similar. In this instance, expert relied upon crash tests that were not necessarily similar to accident scene. Experts did not examine undercarriage of vehicles and relied upon photographs of vehicles to determine crush damage. Testimony not admissible.

1995 Franconia Assocs. v. Clark, 250 Va. 444, 463 S.E.2d 670.<
Plaintiff injured when door closed quickly. Plaintiff presented expert testimony from individual well qualified in door industry who expressed opinions as to operation of door. This testimony could assist trier of fact and therefore was admissible.

1995 CSX Transp., Inc. v. Casale, 250 Va. 359, 463 S.E.2d 445.
FELA case. Plaintiff presented expert economic testimony as to future lost income even though plaintiff testified that at time of trial he was working and intended to continue working. There was no factual basis for this expert testimony in light of plaintiff’s own evidence.

1995 Parker v. Elco Elev. Corp., 250 Va. 278, 462 S.E.2d 98.
Elevator collapse case. Trial court excluded expert testimony as to cause of elevator fall on theory that expert did not know what caused elevator’s excessive speed. Plaintiff however had alternative theories of negligence based upon prior accidents, and as such it was error to exclude expert testimony.

1994 Board of Supvrs. v. Lake Servs., 247 Va. 293, 440 S.E.2d 600.
Evidence about dredging lake did not concern scientific matter upon which jury required expert assistance, and as such trial court erred in requiring expert testimony. At issue was whether defendant used ordinary care in dredging lake given its knowledge of the fluctuating water level and the presence of a known underwater obstruction. This does not concern scientific matter that jury required expert assistance to understand.

1994 CSX Transp. v. Casale, 247 Va. 180, 441 S.E.2d 212.
Plaintiff asserted FELA claim. Plaintiff injured while attempting to secure broken wires. Medical expert’s recital of confirming opinion of absent physician is inadmissible hearsay. In this case opinion of other expert introduced new and different diagnosis and was material and prejudicial to defendant’s case and therefore reversible error.

1992 Kendrick v. VAZ Inc., 244 Va. 380, 421 S.E.2d 447.
Plaintiff fell on ground by merry-go-round on playground at Holiday Inn. Plaintiff tried to offer expert testimony as to what is national standard as to proper composition of such ground. This was not issue framed in pleadings or testimony. Only issue so presented was whether there was hole in ground. Expert excluded.

1992 Tazewell Oil Co. v. United Va. Bank, 243 Va. 94, 413 S.E.2d 611.
Expert testimony permitted in conspiracy case about commercial reasonableness. Whether to qualify witness as expert is within sound discretion of trial court.

1992 Brown v. Corbin, 244 Va. 528, 423 S.E.2d 176.
Accident reconstruction expert in this motor vehicle case rendered expert testimony that court found largely irrelevant and invasive of jury’s realm and, as such, should not have been admitted.

1991 Todd v. Williams, 242 Va. 178, 409 S.E.2d 450.
Medical malpractice action. Doctor testified as to opinions conveyed to him by other doctors. Error to have admitted this.

1990 Lopez v. Dobson, 240 Va. 421, 397 S.E.2d 863.
Police officer improperly allowed to testify as to point of impact of vehicles. This opinion testimony was inadmissible and was reversible error.

1990 Lawson v. Doe, 239 Va. 477, 391 S.E.2d 333.
Virginia Code § 8.01-401.1 does not allow admission of expert testimony based on mere assumption. Testimony must have some evidentiary support. In this wrongful death case, plaintiff unable to show how accident occurred. Expert testimony inadmissible.

1989 McMunn v. Tatum, 237 Va. 558, 379 S.E.2d 908.
Virginia Code § 8.01-401.1 is based on Federal Rules 703 and 705. Therefore, federal cases interpreting Rules would be instructive. This Code section does not authorize admission, during direct examination of expert, of hearsay opinions upon which expert relied even though opinion of expert is itself admitted and even though this hearsay is of type normally relied on by others in this field.

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 or driveway on date of inspection was same as date of accident. Therefore, testimony should not have been allowed.

1989 Swiney v. Overby, 237 Va. 231, 377 S.E.2d 372.
Plaintiff offered expert testimony as to stopping distance of vehicle without presenting evidence as to condition of brakes. Expert testimony not admissible since proper foundation not laid.

1988 Philip Morris, Inc. v. Emerson, 235 Va. 380, 368 S.E.2d 268.
Plaintiff exposed to supertoxic chemicals. Defendant attempted to offer evidence from doctor who had been involved in tests on effects of exposure to chemical twenty years ago. Doctor had not examined plaintiff in this case. Trial court did not abuse discretion in refusing to allow doctor to testify.

1987 Richmond Newspapers v. Lipscomb, 234 Va. 277, 362 S.E.2d 32.
Defamation case. Expert for defendant as to standard of care applicable to reporter was properly excluded. Evidence in this case did not establish that journalists are required to have special education as engineers, doctors, lawyers or CPAs nor have they acquired knowledge unique to certain trades focusing on scientific matters such as electricity or blasting which a jury could not understand without expert assistance. Other factors cited as to why expert testimony not admissible.

1987 Gaalaas v. Morrison, 233 Va. 148, 353 S.E.2d 898.
Medical malpractice case. Defense experts were allowed to refer to Apgar score of 2 of infant without bringing in person who expressed this opinion on Apgar score. Plaintiff objected under Johnson v. Neely since this was opinion. Virginia Code § 8.01-401.1 made this testimony admissible since this information is something normally relied on by experts.

1986 Thurston Metals & Supply Co. v. Taylor, 230 Va. 475, 339 S.E.2d 538.
Golfing injury. Plaintiff allowed to introduce expert testimony on conduct and custom in game of golf. Supreme Court approved this.

1985 Cantrell v. Commonwealth, 229 Va. 387, 329 S.E.2d 22.
Expert testimony is relevant if it tends to establish probability or improbability of fact in issue. In this criminal case defendant attempted to offer evidence that blow to head need not have left serious external injury. Doctor expressed opinion that 10% to 20% of blows to head do not show external injury. He elaborated on this. This testimony was admissible.

1984 Mary Washington Hosp. v. Gibson, 228 Va. 95, 319 S.E.2d 741.
Trial court properly allowed plaintiff’s expert to testify as to age of certain concrete sections where plaintiff fell. This opinion was based on personal examination of concrete and its inherent qualities. Trial court, however, improperly allowed plaintiff’s expert to testify as to whether or not these concrete blocks had settled before or after accident, since there was insufficient foundation to show that condition at time of accident was same as or substantially similar to condition at time of his examination.

1982 Ford Motor Co. v. Bartholomew, 224 Va. 421, 297 S.E.2d 675.
Plaintiff awarded damages for design defect in automobile transmission that caused vehicle to slip into reverse gear. Absent established norm in industry, it was matter of opinion of trained experts what design was safe for its intended use.

1982 Foley v. Harris, 223 Va. 20, 286 S.E.2d 186.
It is permissible for expert to give reasons for his opinion, but if he testifies to information received from other sources, such information may be considered for purpose of determining weight to be given to expert’s conclusion and not as substantive evidence.

1981 Harkins, Inc. v. Reynolds Assocs., 221 Va. 1128, 277 S.E.2d 222.
Malpractice case against engineers and architects. Expert on damages allowed to testify. Trial court should not be reversed unless it clearly appears that expert was not qualified.

1979 Sumner v. Smith, 220 Va. 222, 257 S.E.2d 825.
Direct medical evidence to establish causal connection between accident and injury is not prerequisite to recovery. Plaintiff admitted prior back problems but said this accident caused problems in different part of back. Doctor said accident aggravated injury.

1973 Norfolk S. Ry. v. Rayburn, 213 Va. 812, 195 S.E.2d 860.
Opinion evidence is inadmissible on matters as to which jury is as competent to form judgment as is witness. Plaintiff testified that working condition was unsafe.

1972 Meade v. Belcher, 212 Va. 796, 188 S.E.2d 211.<
Doctor should not have been allowed to express opinion as to causation where that opinion was based very heavily on records not introduced into evidence.

1969 Walrod v. Matthews, 210 Va. 382, 171 S.E.2d 180.
Expert testimony is competent unless it is palpably absurd.

1969 Hill v. Lee, 209 Va. 569, 166 S.E.2d 274.
Plaintiff stated he was struck on shoulder. Defendant stated he was struck on roadway. Improper to allow trooper to express opinion on whether car would have made track through mud on shoulder.

1968 Virginia Stage Lines v. Brockman Chevrolet, Inc., 209 Va. 188, 163 S.E.2d 148.
Investigating officer, based on location of vehicles and debris, essentially reconstructed accident.

1968 White v. Hunt, 209 Va. 11, 161 S.E.2d 809.
Intersection collision. Plaintiff sought to have police officer testify as to speed of defendant’s vehicle from observations at scene. Inadmissible, as this would invade province of jury who were as capable as witness of drawing proper conclusion from related physical facts.

1967 Horner v. Ahern, 207 Va. 860, 153 S.E.2d 216.
Activity of termites and damage caused by them is matter requiring opinion of experts.

1966 Neblett v. Hunter, 207 Va. 335, 150 S.E.2d 115.
When question requires special experience or knowledge then opinion of expert is admissible.

1966 Bailey v. Hunter, Inc., 207 Va. 123, 148 S.E.2d 826.
Medical examiner in death certificate, expressed opinion that death due to auto accident. This opinion based on his review of medical records. If called at trial, he could not have so testified since he had no independent knowledge of facts.

1966 Grasty v. Tanner, 206 Va. 723, 146 S.E.2d 252.
Expert witness as to speed of vehicle should not have been allowed to testify because this was not proper subject for expert testimony and because there were certain variables he failed to consider in arriving at his opinion.

1965 Wagman v. Boccheciampe, 206 Va. 412, 143 S.E.2d 907.
Trial court admitted testimony of safety engineer that handrail was unsafe for children to play on.

1964 Martin v. Penn, 204 Va. 822, 134 S.E.2d 305.
Mechanical experts testified. Supreme Court has recognized limitation on probative value of expert evidence. While expert evidence should be scrutinized with care, its weight is for jury.

1964 Doss v. Martin, 205 Va. 306, 136 S.E.2d 854.
Plaintiff struck on road. Defendant contended plaintiff backed into her vehicle. Medical testimony and physical damage indicated otherwise.

1961 Simmons v. Adams, 202 Va. 926, 121 S.E.2d 379.
Rear-ender where defendant alleged brake failure. Experts testified that air in brake line could have caused sudden brake failure without prior warning; yet, brakes might have functioned properly immediately before such failure. He also testified that while foot brakes did not hold, the emergency brake could have caused skids.

1961 Weinstein v. Glen Falls Ins. Co., 202 Va. 722, 119 S.E.2d 497.
Issue arose as to whether building was dwelling. No need for expert testimony on this issue.

1960 Diggs v. Lail, 201 Va. 871, 114 S.E.2d 743.
Doctor testified that accident was not cause of depression but that it had precipitated plaintiff into depression.

1959 Sykes v. Norfolk & W. Ry., 200 Va. 559, 106 S.E.2d 746.
Testimony as to accident exposure index and hazard of railroad crossing excluded because witness had not seen crossing and his calculations were based on facts not compiled under his supervision.

1959 Venable v. Stockner, 200 Va. 900, 108 S.E.2d 380.
Accidentologist testified as to angle and approximate location of defendant’s vehicle at times of impact. Such evidence was inadmissible.

1955 Olds v. Wood, 196 Va. 960, 86 S.E.2d 32.

Defendant was allowed to question his expert as to whether fire in question could possibly have been caused as described by plaintiff.

1955 VEPCO v. Quann, 197 Va. 9, 87 S.E.2d 624.
Medical testimony combined with lay testimony was sufficient in this workmen’s compensation case to establish causation of injury.

1955 Nehi Bottling Co. v. Lambert, 196 Va. 949, 86 S.E.2d 156.
Police officer was allowed to testify as to point of impact based on location of dirt and mud knocked off two vehicles.

1953 Atlantic Rural Exposition, Inc. v. Fagan, 195 Va. 13, 77 S.E.2d 368.
Stock car race track owners and operators held liable to plaintiff who was injured when wheel came off one car, bounded over 3.5 foot fence and traveled another 80 feet into bleacher where he was seated. Testimony offered to show that freed wheels at times hurdle 3.5 foot fences and travel considerable distances, and that such facts were known or should have been known to defendants; therefore, no expert testimony necessary to show that experienced race track operators should have known that protection of spectators was insufficient within area provided for them.

1949 Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. v. McCullers, 189 Va. 89, 52 S.E.2d 257.
Doctor stated that he was unable to say that plaintiff’s condition after certain time was due to accident. Plaintiff’s witnesses testified to her condition after this point in time. Testimony of laymen as to health of plaintiff was admissible. Such testimony is limited to plaintiff’s physical condition. Several cases cited.

1948 Burruss v. Suddith, 187 Va. 473, 47 S.E.2d 546.
Witness allowed to testify that there is possibility of wood being ejected from machine that injured plaintiff, although this is rare occurrence.

1944 Baltimore v. Benedict Coal Corp., 182 Va. 446, 29 S.E.2d 234.
Workmen’s compensation case. General rule is that when attending physician is positive in his diagnosis, great weight will be accorded.

1944 Ellis v. Commonwealth, 182 Va. 293, 28 S.E.2d 730.
Workmen’s compensation case. When attending physician is positive in his diagnosis of disease, great weight will be accorded.

1943 Neal v. Spencer, 181 Va. 668, 26 S.E.2d 70.
Doctors who had never examined decedent prior to death may still express opinions as to cause of death.

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Expert Testimony-Adequate Basis for Admissibility

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