BWB&O’s Arizona office’s Managing Partner John Belanger and Associate Terry Straughn strategically utilized Arizona Revised Statute section 12-2602’s statutory expert certificate/preliminary affidavit requirements to successfully defend a lawsuit for its contractor client. Specifically, Plaintiff failed to file the requisite certificate and preliminary expert affidavit stating how the contractor fell below the standard of care and how that conduct caused the alleged damages.
Plaintiff claimed over $300,000.00 in damages due to a house fire allegedly caused by BWB&O’s client. Although Plaintiff identified three different experts in its initial disclosure statement, Plaintiff failed to provide the required preliminary expert affidavit with the disclosure statement. BWB&O filed a motion to compel Plaintiff to comply with the statute. The Court agreed and granted the motion, ordering Plaintiff to produce a preliminary expert affidavit. Due to the complete lack of any evidence in the record that BWBO’s client caused the fire, Plaintiff’s own cause and origin expert could not support causation, and BWB&O was able to successfully extricate its client from the litigation.