Dangerous City Sidewalk Fall Causes Brain Injury To Sacramento Woman, Part 2 of 4

The following blog entry is written to illustrate a common motion filed during civil litigation. Reviewing this kind of filing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this brain injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)


This lawsuit arises out of an accident that occurred at a crosswalk for southbound Freedom Avenue near 35th Street on July 6, 2008. At the time of this accident, Plaintiff Donna Lee (“Lee”) was struck while jogging in the subject crosswalk by a car driven by co-defendant Matthew Black (“Black”). As a result of being struck by the car driven by defendant Black, Plaintiff Donna Lee sustained severe head and traumatic brain injuries that resulted in her being in a coma for several weeks. Ms. Lee filed a First Amended Complaint in which both the City of XYZ (“City”) and Black were named as defendants. Plaintiff asserts a claim against the City for dangerous condition of public property pursuant to Government Code Section 835.

Plaintiff Lee served her expert designation on January 7, 2010. Plaintiff has designated Robert Gold, P.E., a traffic engineer, to testify as to issues of traffic engineering and transportation planning. Mr. Gold’s deposition was taken on February 2, 2010. The opinions provided by Mr. Gold were based on assumptions of fact without evidentiary support and pure speculation. As such, his opinions have no evidentiary value and should be excluded from evidence.

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

At deposition, Mr. Gold acknowledged that his opinions were based upon assumptions, likelihoods, and other speculative and unreliable evidence. Expert opinion that is not based upon reliable facts or data, however, is irrelevant and therefore properly kept from a jury. Indeed, it is well settled in California that an expert’s opinion is nullified when it is based upon speculative or conjectural evidence. Brown v. Ransweiler (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 516. As such, Mr. Gold should not be permitted to present the jury with testimony improperly designated as expert. (See Part 3 of 4.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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