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Weisgram v. Marley Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Wiesgram appealed an appellate judgment that determined expert testimony to be erroneous and unable to sustain a suit.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    An appellate court may direct judgment as a matter of law if evidence was erroneously admitted and no other evidence sustains a suit.

    Facts.

    Wiesgram died from carbon monoxide poisoning after her house caught on fire. Wiesgram’s son sued Marley Co. (Marley), claiming that the electric baseboards started the fire. Three experts testified that the heater had a defect that caused the fire and the jury granted judgment to Wiesgram. The court of appeals reversed claiming that the expert testimony was not scientifically sound and was not enough to sustain a judgment. Wiesgram appealed.

    Issue.

    Whether an appellate court may direct judgment as a matter of law if evidence was erroneously admitted and no other evidence sustains a suit?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the appellate court is affirmed. The expert testimony presented by Weisgram was not enough to sustain the jury verdict and Weisgram did not meet the appropriate standard for expert testimony.

    Discussion.

    Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50 allows a court to render a judgment as a matter of law when a party has been fully heard and there is no reason for the jury to find for that party on that issue. Daubert requires that expert testimony reach a strit level of reliability in order to be admissible.


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