Land Valuation Expert Allowed To Testify In Oklahoma Groundwater Contamination Case

In a case involving alleged groundwater contamination of a group of plaintiffs’ properties located in proximity to a company’s former site used to clean missile motor casings, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma denied the plaintiffs’ request to exclude the testimony of one of the company’s proposed land valuation experts.  The plaintiffs argued that the expert’s testimony would not be helpful to the jury because it failed to address any of the central questions of the case.  Specifically, the plaintiffs emphasized that the expert failed to designate an exact value for their property “before” the alleged injury and failed to designate an exact value for their property for their property “after” the alleged injury.  In yesterday’s opinion, the court disagreed, explaining that it was not necessary for the expert to set forth exact values when his opinion was that no diminution in property values were caused by the alleged perchlorate contamination issues.

The court also rejected the plaintiffs’ challenge to the expert’s proposed testimony on the grounds that his testimony was not credible because he relied on data from retrospective appraisals performed by one of the company’s other experts.  The court found this reliance proper and will allow the expert to testify.

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