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Design Industry Standards Must Be Supported With Extrinsic Proof

October 27, 2008

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United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made famous the Latin term, "ipse dixit," when he derisively quipped that a statement is not necessarily true just because uttered by an expert. Employing similar logic, the Appellate Division, First Department recently overturned a jury verdict against the City of New York, which concluded that it negligently designed two swinging doors in a NYC high school. Plaintiff's expert testfied that the doors were poorly designed and in violation of applicable industry standards without any reference to written building codes or industry standards in effect when the building was constructed. Instead, the expert relied on his general experience and one written publication issued after the building was constructed.
Jury verdicted overturned and case dismissed.
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