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Expert Witness Services 
 

Shawn DeRosa has been retained by law firms (both plaintiff and defense) for expert witness services related to swimming pool and beach catastrophic events, including drowning. 

Given his background in helping to develop the American Red Cross Lifeguarding Program in 2000, the CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer program in 2002, and the Red Cross Lifeguard Management program in 2003, Shawn has been particularly helpful in providing expert services in the field of water safety, lifeguarding and drowning prevention.  Because he has operated both public and semi-public swimming pools for nearly 20 years and has provided training to waterpark owners and operators in Mexico and pool managers in Hong Kong, Shawn brings an international awareness of water safety practices to his clients.

Shawn DeRosa has been asked to perform the following expert services:

  • Legal Orientation - Shawn has provided general water safety information to attorneys regarding relevant standards of care in the industry.  This water safety orientation helps focus attorneys on specific causes of action that may be supported by the facts of their case including, failure to supervise staff, failure to supervise patrons, negligent hiring, negligent administration, wrongful death, and potentially gross negligence.

  • Deposition Preparation - Attorneys are not generally familiar with standards and common practices of the pool, waterpark or beach industries. Without first talking with a water safety expert, attorneys are not truly positioned to make the best use of their limited opportunities to depose witnesses. Deposing a witness without first determining what information your expert needs to render an opinion can result in a deposition with limited value to the reviewing expert.  Often, attorneys fail to make inquiries into very relevant areas of managing an aquatic facility simply because the attorneys didn't have adequate preparation as to how a facility should be managed. When an expert lacks evidence of a facility's water safety and lifeguard training practices, the expert's opinion may be limited.  By speaking with an expert in advance of depositions, attorneys maximize their time and the value of the deposition while also helping discover evidence that could be helpful to their expert in supporting their side of the case.  This also avoids the need to recall witnesses for subsequent depositions, which may be limited by your state's rules of civil procedure.

  • Site Review - A critical aspect of any case is the on-site review of the facility in question.  This on-site evaluation allows your drowning or aquatic safety expert to measure distances, get a "feel" for the facility size and zones of lifeguard coverage, and it allows for actual observation of facility equipment and environmental factors which may have played a factor in the incident.  Further, an on-site evaluation lends credibility to your expert's opinion and avoids the potential embarrassment when your expert is asked, "Well, Mr. Expert, have you even visited this facility at ANY point prior to rendering your opinion as to how it should have been operated?"

  • Pretrial Litigation Assistance - Involving an expert early on in your case is critical.  Not only can you retain qualified experts early on as part of your overall trial strategy, but you can then use those experts to help you refine your discovery requests.  As a water safety expert, Shawn DeRosa has been asked to help refine Requests for Production of Documents, provide questions to be asked in Interrogatories, and most importantly guide attorneys through a line of questioning in preparation for witness depositions. Knowing what questions to ask deponents can offer your experts additional insight as to the facts and circumstances surrounding the event.

  • Expert Opinion - Water safety experts should have a unique background, special skills, training, and education needed to qualify them as experts in their field, thereby allowing these experts to give opinion testimony at trial.  However, most cases don't actually reach trial, but rather turn on expert testimony in two primary forms: the expert's written opinion and the expert's deposition.  Shawn DeRosa has provided deposition testimony and has issued written opinions in a variety of drowning-related cases.

Among the most important decisions you may make with regard to your case may not be whether to bring in a water safety expert, but rather

  • Which expert witness to involve in your case and

  • When to start using your expert to better support your case. 

With Shawn DeRosa's strong expert testimony and case analysis, you will have an unbiased analysis of your case, applying known facts to applicable standards. 

 

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