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The Expert's Role In A Premises Liability Suit

By Andrew R. Bronsnick

We have hired several expert witnesses to provide testimony during premises liability and personal injury trials and hearings. This is a critical element of a plaintiff’s injury or wrongful death claim and involves more than just hindsight and opinions. The expert’s opinion helps establish who might be liable for an injury and how it occurred. His or her testimony serves the purpose to assist the judge or jury in understanding complex issues beyond common knowledge.

The expert’s opinions must be supported by:

  • Industry standards of care
  • Guidelines
  • Rules and regulations

When an expert fails to cite these facts, it can lead to courtroom losses. This was the scenario recently in the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, where the mother of a young woman who drowned in a La Quinta hotel swimming pool filed a premises liability suit against the hotelier. The plaintiff’s expert, an engineer, reached various conclusions about pool safety and pointed out all the measures La Quinta could have taken to prevent the tragedy. Unfortunately, the expert did not establish the industry standard for pool safety.

While noting that [the expert witness] was “one of the more foremost experts in this area,” the judge found that the expert’s conclusions did not “bring any genuine issue of material fact that the standard of care that’s applicable to pool safety . . . was violated by the conditions that existed at [defendant’s hotel] at the time of [decedent’s] drowning.”


Though no one contested the cause or location of the drowning, the Court found La Quinta followed the standard of care with regard to pool surveillance – despite the fact that it could have gone above and beyond the standard – and ultimately ruled in favor of the defense.

How Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C. Successfully Collaborates with Expert Witnesses

We have hired several experts in various injury claims, and all understood that their primary role is to explain what the industry standard may be for a given situation. Once that is established, we collaborate to articulate their opinions, which must be supported with those facts. This collaboration ensures effective, concise testimony and is especially important during cross-examination or during depositions, and has contributed to our many favorable premises liability awards.   

Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C. has over nine decades of success litigating injury claims and negotiating with insurance providers to secure maximum compensation. This way, injured victims and their families can focus on recovery and not financial burdens.

If you or a loved one has been injured on a commercial property in New Jersey, you need an experienced lawyer to present your injuries to a judge. You need Mandelbaum Salsburg P.C.

We’ll take the time to carefully gather and evaluate all evidence, determine whether the standard of care was met and travel to the scene of the incident, if necessary. We’ll review all medical records and video footage and prepare and file any required documents. Most importantly, we will be your voice in all hearings or proceedings, including any appeals.

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