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Is Expert Testimony Always Necessary?

In a recent Superior Court case involving alleged negligent security at a Bruins hockey game in Boston, the judge decided, contrary to what many believe is established precedent, that the plaintiff does not need to produce expert testimony in order for his case to go on to trial. The judge found that professional ice hockey is “inherently violent” and that where frustrated fans are “fueled by a volatile mix of unbridled physicality and alcohol, fights at TD Garden are forseeable.” As to whether security measures taken by the defendants to prevent the plaintiff’s injuries during a fight between fans were adequate under the circumstances, the judge deferred to”the collective wisdom of the jury as fact-finders.” Some say the judge’s ruling will not be upheld on appeal due to earlier case law requiring expert testimony in similar negligent security cases; others hail the ruling as practical and grounded in reality.

Time and further litigation will tell. Now word on whether or not the judge is a hockey or contact sport fan.