Damages experts: Be careful with surveys

BVWireIssue #167-1
August 3, 2016

The use of surveys can be very important in helping to determine damages, but this is not part of the damages expert’s know-how. So what role should the expert play in the use of surveys? The damages expert should be involved only to the point where the survey is ready to be piloted or pretested, according to Dr. Leon Kaplan (Princeton Research and Consulting Center), who spoke during a recent webinar. Co-presenter Dr. Larry Chiagouris (Brand Marketing Services and Pace University) added that the survey expert will consult with both the damages expert and technical subject expert to make sure that the survey is designed in a way that produces valid results.

Watch out: Damages experts are not supposed to be involved in the execution of the survey, they say. The attorney may hypothetically discuss some things with the expert, but the expert needs to be able to state that he or she was not at all involved in the actual implementation of the survey.

Kaplan and Chiagouris are co-authors of a chapter on the use of survey research and damages estimation in the recently published fourth edition of the Comprehensive Guide to Economic Damages.

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