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John Lee Taylor v. Seketa Culver, Case No. 1D14-4444 (1st DCA)

In Taylor, the appellant appealed the trial court’s decision to exclude the testimony of his expert biomedical engineer where the testimony was relevant to material issues of fact and to refute the testimony of the appellee’s own biomedical engineering expert. The First District noted that the decision to admit or exclude expert testimony is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. The boundaries of a trial court’s discretion to admit or exclude evidence are confined by the evidence code and controlling case law. “A fundamental cornerstone for analysis is that all relevant evidence is admissible, except as provided by law.” Section 90.402, Florida Statutes. While section 90.403, Florida Statutes, provides that relevant evidence may be inadmissible where its probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, “where relevant evidence is not unfairly prejudicial the trial court has no discretion or authority to exclude it.” The First District here found that its opinion inCouncil v. State was controlling law supporting the conclusion that the proffered testimony of the biomechanics expert was relevant to the disputed issues concerning velocity and the directionality of forced involved in the accident, and thus, the issue of causation. Accordingly, the trial court abused its discretion when it excluded the appellant’s biomedical engineering expert from testifying.


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