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Waldorf v. Shuta

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
142 F.3d 601 (1998)


Mark Waldorf (plaintiff) became a quadriplegic because of injuries he sustained in a car accident. During his personal-injury action, one of the defendants offered the expert testimony of Dennis Rizzo on the subject of vocational rehabilitation and the jobs available for a quadriplegic. Rizzo did not have any formal training in the field. Rizzo had a master’s degree in sociology and social organization and spent much of his early career working in a field unrelated to vocational rehabilitation. In recent years, however, Rizzo worked to evaluate employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and as part of his job, he became familiar with studies on work quadriplegics can perform. Rizzo also used the New Jersey Department of Labor Statistics and the New Jersey Job Listing Book regarding employment opportunities in various job categories in the state. Over Waldorf’s objection, the court qualified Rizzo as an expert witness. During Rizzo’s testimony, he used the New Jersey Department of Labor Statistics and the New Jersey Job Listing Book. Following a judgment in his favor, Waldorf moved for a new trial on the basis of the court’s qualification of Rizzo as an expert witness, among other things.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Greenberg, J.)

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