In a recent case before the California Court of Appeal, the court addressed a plaintiff’s allegations of error concerning the trial court’s exclusion of evidence in her single-vehicle personal injury lawsuit. The court analyzed whether the plaintiff had met the elements of showing that a dangerous condition of public property existed on the road. They also made clear that the standard on review was whether there was a reasonable probability the jury would have reached a result more favorable to the plaintiff, had there been no error.
The plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the State of California for severe and permanent injuries she suffered in an accident on State Route 127 in July 2012. She contended that a puddle on the road caused her vehicle to veer and roll over. On behalf of the state, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) prevailed in a jury trial, when the jury found no dangerous condition existed.
In her appeal, the plaintiff contended that it had been a prejudicial error to exclude testimony from her biomechanical expert and a witness to the accident. Regarding the biomechanical expert, whom the plaintiff had designated to testify regarding how her injuries occurred during the car accident, Caltrans had contended that the expert was not qualified to offer opinions on the topic of accident reconstruction and traffic engineering. The expert was going to testify regarding the number of rollovers that took place in the accident.