Gosewisch v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc

In Gosewisch v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., 153 Ariz. 389, 737 P.2d 365 (App. 1985), vacated on other grounds, 153 Ariz. 400, 737 P.2d 365 (1987), the plaintiff brought a products liability suit against the manufacturer of an all terrain cycle ("ATC") after he was seriously injured in an ATC accident. Id. at 391, 737 P.2d at 367. The trial court refused to allow evidence of a "study" conducted by an emergency room physician, Dr. Rieser, regarding the pattern of ATC injuries in the surrounding area and refused to allow Dr. Rieser to opine about the results of his study. Id. at 396, 737 P.2d at 372. The court found that the study was not admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule because the plaintiff had not shown that the survey was conducted according to "the principles accepted by social scientists and statisticians for gathering and analyzing survey data." Id. at 397-98, 737 P.2d at 373-74. On appeal, the Court found the record supported the trial court's conclusion that Dr. Rieser's study was not reliable and trustworthy and justified the court's refusal to admit the study in evidence. Id. at 398, 737 P.2d at 374. The Court also affirmed the court's refusal to allow Dr. Rieser to testify regarding his conclusions from the study, noting he was a medical doctor with no special knowledge in the area of ATC accident causation and that the plaintiff had not established that the type of survey produced by Dr. Rieser was reasonably relied upon by experts in the accident reconstruction field. Id. at 398-99, 737 P.2d at 374-75.