Groundwater Contamination: How An Expert Witness Can Help

Expert witnesses are being used more and more in civil trials, and in cases of groundwater contamination, they are no exception.  And expert witness can make or break a case, therefore they can play a key role in the success of a groundwater contamination case.  This article will discuss how an expert witness can help in a case of groundwater contamination.  This article will also discuss what an expert witness is and when one might be necessary.


What is an expert witness?

An expert witness is a person who has specific training, education, or experience regarding a particular trade or profession.  If an individual possesses these qualifications in a particular area, they are considered an expert on the subject.  In the case of a groundwater contamination issue, a geology expert could be considered an expert witness, just to name one example.  Part of the trial process is qualifying the individual as an expert.  This requires the individual to submit documentation of his or her education and experience which would qualify them as an expert.  Expert witnesses are slightly different from normal witnesses in that they can give opinions instead of strictly facts.

When and how are expert witnesses used?

Expert witnesses are used mainly as teachers for the jury and judge.  An expert witness should be able to present information or opinions on a case by teaching the jury and judge about their area of expertise.  Displaying their knowledge of what happened in the case, or how they came to their conclusion of their particular opinion can be very helpful in the success of a case.  A good expert witness can help the judge and jury understand their point of view by expressing their knowledge and experience in a way that is easy to understand.  When an opinion comes from an expert in the particular subject being considered, others are much more likely to understand and agree with the expert.


Expert witness can be used in cases of groundwater contamination and have been successfully used in several cases.  Groundwater contamination is a serious issue, and one that is not often taken seriously.  A few examples of groundwater contamination cases in which an expert witness could be helpful could include the following: chemicals from farms or agricultural sites that run off into neighboring land or property, storage tanks from businesses that have leaked or busted, neighboring septic systems that have seeped into the ground and caused issues in a neighborhood or particular area, or landfills that have become too large and are causing contamination.  All of these things could cause issues to other properties and might result in a legal suit.  In any of these cases, an expert witness could be utilized to identify the risks and hazards of the situation, and help to insure the success of the case.

About the Author

Relene Mac is an environmental activist who has witnessed many trials regarding groundwater contamination issues.  She suggests looking at the website for  Geo-Solutions if you are considering the use of an groundwater expert witness.