June 27, 2008

Georgia Supreme Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge To Expert Testimony Law

Washington Legal Foundation
Robert S. Highsmith Jr.

In 2005, the Georgia General Assembly enacted tort reform legislation that affected the state’s existing laws on venue, medical malpractice claims, offers of judgment, and damage awards in certain civil actions. As part of Senate Bill 3, the General Assembly enacted O.C.G.A. section 24-9-67.1, which governs the admission of expert testimony in civil cases.1 In Mason v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. et al., 283 Ga. 271, 658 S.E.2d 603 (2008), the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld the constitutionality of the statute over challenges on several fronts. The decision in Mason provides for a uniform approach to the analysis of the admissibility of expert testimony in line with the Federal Rules of Evidence and also paves the way for Georgia’s trial courts to require expert testimony to meet higher standards for admissibility than perhaps any other state in the nation.


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