McDonald v. Doukas
Expert testimony that possesses a sufficient factual basis and is not based on conjecture can be admitted without a Porter hearing, The defendants filed a motion to exclude the testimony of Dr. Gary Crakes, an economist who is expected to testify about the present value of the plaintiff's future, depression-related medical expenses and losses, based in part on the testimony of other experts about the plaintiff's future work capacity. Dr. Crakes has been a professor at Southern Connecticut State University since 1989 and is widely published. Dr. Crakes computed future losses of earnings by comparing the plaintiff's future earning capacity, if the plaintiff were not injured, with the plaintiff's lifetime earning capacity, as a result of the plaintiff's work restrictions, using the median incomes of individuals compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dr. Crakes considered the plaintiff's age, gender, expected duration of work and life expectancy, as well as future taxes, fringe benefits, interest and growth of earnings. The subject of the testimony is not based on scientific tests, methodology or experiment. "Such calculations of future loss of earning capacity," wrote the court, "are clearly not based on any novel scientific methodology, but on applicable economic principles within Dr. Crakes' expertise." Dr. Crakes' testimony will assist the jury when it evaluates economic evidence. Provided that Dr. Crakes' testimony has a sufficient factual basis and is not based on conjecture, it is admissible without a hearing pursuant to State v. Porter, a 1997 decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court, and the court denied the defendant's motion to preclude the testimony.