07/12/2021 - US Expert Witness News: Judge Decides ‘expert witnesses’ Unqualified in School Mask Lawsuit

The CT Freedom Alliance’s continued legal fight against mask wearing rules in Connecticut's schools hit a roadblock. The judge hearing the case ruled that their expert witnesses were unqualified to weigh in on the issue.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher said that an Oklahoma-based ophthalmologist James Meehan Jr. and psychologist Andrew Kaufman, lack specific expertise and hold anti-science views that make them unsuitable to testify in a case that “would require the Judicial Branch to seize from the Executive and Legislative Branches power over a matter of public health,” he wrote.

The decision followed a hearing on the issue after a motion was made by the state to dismiss the lawsuit. There, Darren Cunningham, an attorney for the state, questioned
the qualifications of both doctors, saying their work presents them as ideological advocates
for one side of the issue rather than experts on whether wearing masks can cause harm.
whether that means they are incapabile of impartiality is another matter.

Their testimonies revealed that Kaufman believes viruses do not exist and that COVID-19 is a hoax, while Meehan authored a blog post saying that herd immunity will protect vulnerable members of society and prevent pandemics.

“There’s case law that says when an expert becomes an advocate for a cause, he, therefore, departs from the ranks of an objective expert witness and any resulting testimony would be unfairly prejudicial and misleading,” Cunningham said during the hearing hearing. “And I’m seeking to show that [Meehan] is that, an ideologue, who has very set views when it comes to this topic.”

The court ultimately decided that while Meehan is an expert ophthalmologist, he was not credible to testify on the subject at hand since he has not done any work related to COVID-19. As for Kaufman, the court said they “will not accept as an expert advisor to it on a matter of life or death a man who defies science so firmly established as to be beyond rational dispute.”

Moukawsher has given the Alliance’s attorneys until Monday to propose new expert witnesses and will figure out from there how, and whether, to move forward with hearing the case.

CT Freedom Alliance, with four Connecticut families as co-plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit in August, last year arguing that requiring children to wear masks while in school is not only harmful but that the department of education violated state law by improperly implementing the regulation. The plaintiffs are also arguing that requiring masks violates the state constitution by impacting on the right to an education.