Daubert Standard -

South Dakota

Follows Daubert. State v. Hofer, 512 N.W.2d 482 (S.D. 1994) (Adopted Daubert standard).

The state of South Dakota applies the Daubert standard for determining the admissibility of scientific and other expert evidence.

The Supreme Court of South Dakota held after the adoption of the Daubert standard, general acceptance in the scientific community is no longer required for the admissibility of expert testimony; the trial judge must simply determine “that an expert’s testimony both rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant to the task at hand.” Kuper v. Lincoln-Union Elec. Co., 557 N.W.2d 748, 760 (S.D. 1996); SDCL § 19-19-702. Under the Daubert standard, the court must determine whether: “(1) the theory or technique in question can be and has been tested, (2) it has been subjected to peer review and publication, (3) its known or potential error rate and the existence and maintenance of standards controlling its operation, and (4) it has attracted widespread acceptance within a relevant scientific community.” State v. Lemler, 774 N.W.2d 272 (S.D. 2009).

Leading Case(s):
State v. Hofer, 512 N.W.2d 482 (S.D. 1994) (the state Supreme Court held that Daubert had overturned Frye and would be the test applied)
Burley v. Kytec Innovative Sports Equipment, Inc., 737 N.W.2d 397, 405 (S.D. 2007)
-In Burley v. Kytec Innovative Sports Equipment, Inc., a high school athlete injured whileusing a sports training product brought a products liability claim against the productmanufacturer. Id. at 400. The Supreme Court of South Dakota held that the trial courtabused its discretion when it excluded expert testimony based on an incorrect finding thatthe expert was not qualified. Id. at 405. The court held that the expert’s inexperience as alitigation witness and unfamiliarity with inapplicable warning standards should not havebeen used to determine his qualifications. Id. Instead, the court determined that the expert’s“considerable experience in the evaluation of instructions and warnings” and the fact thathe “reviewed the depositions … and then tested the [product] using [the company’s]instructions,” satisfied the Daubert test. Id. at 405-406.