Should Sauce For The Technocrat Be Sauce For The Expert Witness?

If an expert, or a panel of experts, renders an opinion in the face of considerable uncertainty ought she, or they, be subjected to liability if their opinion turns out to be wrong? When scientists in Italy got earthquake advice wrong, and were sued for damages and prosecuted for manslaughter, scientists from around the world demanded that legal systems understand just how little even experts know about how the world works and how tentative is their knowledge, and how often wrong are even the wisest among us. (Socrates must be smiling). See "Scientists On Trial: At Fault?"

Well, if experts shouldn't be subjected to liability when they opine about cutting edge and uncertain science why should defendants be subjected to liability for claims founded upon the very same unproved and highly uncertain opinions of expert witnesses? Maybe if expert witnesses could be fined or incarcerated for opinions that later turn out to be wrong we'd see a lot more humility, and honesty, among the experts who ply their trade down at the courthouse.

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