TALE NO. 13 It was a Perry Mason moment…

The case involved a rear-end collision at the stop light where the freeway exit merged into Cesar Chavez Street. To prove the plaintiff’s claim it was a high speed impact causing serious damage, plaintiff’s attorney called as an expert witness at trial a collision repair specialist to opine that the impact was so severe the undercarriage of the plaintiff’s car was torqued by the impact.

On direct examination the expert gave his name and place of employment; he was shown a photograph of the rear bumper of the plaintiff’s car and described the damage to the undercarriage. 

Cross-examination clarified the fact that the expert who was called at trial was not the expert who was disclosed in plaintiff’s expert disclosure nor the expert who appeared on the plaintiff’s witness list. Further cross-examination revealed that the expert had not seen any photographs other than the one of the rear bumper introduced in to evidence, that the photograph did not show that the undercarriage was torqued and that the expert had not seen the vehicle in question, let alone actually inspected it for damage.