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Opinions-Lay :Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Summarizes Cases Dealing with Opinions-Lay

Brien Roche

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 Opinions-Lay. For more information about opinions see the pages on Wikipedia.

Opinions-Lay : Cases

2014 Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., 288 Va. 84, 758 S.E.2d 515.
Admissibility of lay opinion testimony is governed by Rule 2:701, which says it is admissible if based upon personal experience or observations and will aid the trier of fact in understanding the witness’ perceptions. In this case, witness expressed opinion as to whether or not decedent exercised good judgment in flying his plane. That was not admissible. Another witness expressed opinion relating to personal experiences on flying two (2) different planes. The witness compared them. This testimony was properly admissible.

2014 Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., 288 Va. 84, 758 S.E.2d 515.
Admissibility of lay opinion testimony is governed by Rule 2:701, which says it is admissible if based upon personal experience or observations and will aid the trier of fact in understanding the witness’ perceptions. In this case, witness expressed opinion as to whether or not decedent exercised good judgment in flying his plane. That was not admissible. Another witness expressed opinion relating to personal experiences on flying two (2) different planes. The witness compared them. This testimony was properly admissible.

1981 Peterson v. Neme, 222 Va. 477, 281 S.E.2d 869.
Lay testimony of causal connection between an automobile accident and injury is admissible for whatever weight fact finder may choose to give it, even when medical testimony fails to establish causal connection expressly.

1972 Meade v. Belcher, 212 Va. 796, 188 S.E.2d 211.
Doctor should not have been allowed to base his opinion, wholly or partially, on contents of records not admitted into evidence.

1971 Norfolk & W. Ry. v. Keatley, 211 Va. 507, 178 S.E.2d 516.
Trial court has wide discretion in admission of opinion evidence. Engineer of train was allowed to express opinion as to why train stopped suddenly.

1969 Hill v. Lee, 209 Va. 569, 166 S.E.2d 274.
Plaintiff stated he was struck on shoulder. Defendant stated plaintiff struck on highway. Improper to allow trooper to express opinion on whether car would have made track through mud on shoulder. Jury competent to decide whether car left hard surface before impact.

1968 Holbert v. Evans, 209 Va. 210, 163 S.E.2d 187.
Opinions-lay. Auto collision case. Police officer introduced evidence of his findings at scene and was then asked if defendant made statement to him. After repeating statement, officer was asked whether statement was compatible with his physical findings. Question improper as calling for expression of opinion concerning subject upon which jury was as competent to pass judgment as witness. Although officer answered affirmatively, admission of evidence was harmless error only.

1966 Phillips v. Stewart, 207 Va. 214, 148 S.E.2d 784.
Lay witnesses are competent to testify as to general health of person with whom they are familiar and whom they have had opportunity to observe.

1959 Virginian Ry. v. Calhoun, 200 Va. 908, 108 S.E.2d 239.
Opinions-lay.Witness whose duty it was to instruct new car riders was allowed to testify as to what in his opinion constituted reasonably necessary instruction for new man.

1958 Ramsey v. Commonwealth, 200 Va. 245, 105 S.E.2d 155.
Opinions of witnesses are generally inadmissible. In this criminal case opinion on ultimate issue in case was inadmissible.

1958 Gammon v. Hyde, 199 Va. 918, 103 S.E.2d 221.
Opinions-lay.Defendant admitted at time of accident that accident was his fault. At trial he qualified this by stating that he meant to say both he and co-defendant were at fault. It was error to allow this qualification since it was opinion.

1957 Smith v. Smith, 199 Va. 55, 97 S.E.2d 907.
Opinion that defendant must have fallen asleep was inadmissible.

1952 Clayton v. Taylor, 193 Va. 555, 69 S.E.2d 424.
Opinion question as to whether driver had time to stop his car at speed he was going was improper.

1950 Holland v. Harrell, 190 Va. 613, 58 S.E.2d 1.
Opinions-lay.There is no probative value in expressions such as “fast,” “quickly,” “with force,” and “stiff.”

1949 Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. v. McCullers, 189 Va. 89, 52 S.E.2d 257.
Opinions-lay.Layman allowed to express opinion as to state of person’s health. Such testimony is limited to person’s physical condition. Several cases cited.

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Opinions-Lay :Cases Summarized By Accident Attorney

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