AIA Pleased With Wis. Legislature’s Passage of ‘Junk Science’ Bill

March 16, 2004

The American Insurance Association (AIA) has commended the Wisconsin legislature’s passage of a key measure to keep “junk science” out of the courtroom.

The bill, SB 49, applies the “Daubert” federal expert witness standard to Wisconsin’s courts. As a result, expert witnesses will only be permitted to offer testimony that is based on sufficient facts and data and is the product of reliable principles and methods that have been properly applied to the facts of a particular case.

“Applying the federal standard to Wisconsin’s expert witness criteria strengthens the existing statute and ensures expert witnesses are truly ‘experts’,” said Sean McManamy, AIA assistant vice president, Midwest region. “We applaud the legislature for passing such a common-sense bill and urge Gov. Doyle to quickly sign it into law.”

Additionally, SB 49 prohibits expert witnesses from being compensated based on the outcome of the case. “This is a key provision that helps keep well-compensated peddlers of junk science out of the courtroom,” added McManamy.

If Gov. Doyle signs the bill, Wisconsin would reportedly join the vast majority of states in using the Daubert standard for expert witness testimony.

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