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Medical Examiner cant testify beyond his expertise

5/4/12.  In State v Locascio, the App Div. today revered a death by auto where the Medical Examiner supplied the crucial testimony as to who (he guessed) was driving.

The Court found that "testimony by such a medical
examiner as to the identity of the driver must be strictly
confined to the areas of that examiner's expertise as to the
nature and causes of bodily injuries. ...Although it was permissible for the medical examiner to testify in certain respects about the physical forces that
caused the boyfriend's fatal injuries, it was improper for him
to render opinions about the probable movements of the occupants
within the car as it decelerated and crashed, including an
analysis of how the passenger's body allegedly "cushioned" the
driver's body during the accident. Because such improper
opinions, admitted over defense counsel's objections, addressed
the crucial disputed issue at the trial, we reverse defendant's
conviction and remand for a new trial."

Jeff Gold

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