Barmeyer v. Montana Power Co – Case Brief Summary (Montana)

In Barmeyer v. Montana Power Co. (1983), 202 Mont. 185, 657 P.2d 594, the Court noted that before Rule 702, M.R.Evid. was adopted, courts required a foundation showing that the proffered expert testimony involved a field of science which had gained general acceptance by the relevant scientific community.

However, the Court pointed out that there was a trend to liberalize the admission of expert testimony, that the general acceptance test had been eroded, and that neither Rule 702, M.R.Evid. nor the Commission Comments to the rule mentioned the general acceptance test.

Therefore, the Court held that the general acceptance test was not in conformity with the spirit of the new rules of evidence.

The Court then explained that it is better to admit relevant scientific evidence in the same manner as other expert testimony and allow its weight to be attacked by cross examination and refutation .