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Elcock v. Kmart Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
233 F.3d 734 (3d Cir. 2000)


Kmart Corporation (defendant) conceded its liability for injuries Carmelita Elcock (plaintiff) suffered when she slipped and fell at a Kmart store. At trial, the jury determined the damages to award Elcock. Dr. Chester Copemann, a psychologist, gave expert vocational rehabilitation testimony on Elcock's behalf. Copemann did not have a degree in vocational rehabilitation because such degrees were not awarded when he was in school. However, Copemann was familiar with pertinent professional literature and he had helped drug addicts and disabled persons return to the workplace. Copemann testified the accident reduced Elcock's earning capacity by 50 to 60 percent. The jury awarded damages based in part on Copemann's testimony. Kmart appealed the award to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on the grounds Copemann was not qualified to give expert evidence.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Becker, C.J.)

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