Journal Article Title: Forensic Engineering Analysis and Daubert Challenges to Prosthetic Fastener Failure
Article Author(s): Owens, Roger L., P.E.
Volume: 23
Volume #: 2
Month: December
Year: 2006

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Abstract:

It has become relatively commonplace in those cases where trial appears to be eminent that a Daubert Challenge of an expert occurs. Once one expert is challenged, it is not unusual that all experts on both sides of the docket are challenged. In the past, case value appeared to be the motivating issue when considering a challenge of an expert's qualifications and/or methodology. The challenge is now being utilized more frequently in all courts and at lower case value levels. If an expert testifies frequently the probability of the expert being restricted and/or struck increases. Once challenged, the expert is dependent on his client to advise him of the challenge as well as the grounds for the challenge, to assist in the preparation of an affidavit and to prepare for testimony before the court. The expert, of course, is totally dependent upon the legal competence of his client and the fairness of the court. This article is intended to document the forensic analyses of a mechanical failure of a bolted joint in a foot prostheses. Although the failure was relatively fundamental from an engineering perspective, multiple Daubert Challenges of both qualifications and methodology complicated the case.