[Code of Federal Regulations] [Title 49, Volume 5, Parts 400 to 999] [Revised as of October 1, 1998] From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access [CITE: 49CFR835.3] [Page 1108] TITLE 49--TRANSPORTATION CHAPTER VIII--NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD PART 835--TESTIMONY OF BOARD EMPLOYEES--Table of Contents Sec. 835.3 Scope of permissible testimony. (a) Section 701(e) of the FA Act and section 304(c) of the Safety Act preclude the use or admission into evidence of Board accident reports in any suit or action for damages arising from accidents. These sections reflect Congress' ``strong * * * desire to keep the Board free of the entanglement of such suits.'' Rep. No. 93-1192, 93d Cong., 2d Sess., 44 (1974), and serve to ensure that the Board does not exert an undue influence on litigation. The purposes of these sections would be defeated if expert opinion testimony of Board employees, which may be reflected in the views of the Board expressed in its reports, were admitted in evidence or used in litigation arising out of an accident. The Board relies heavily upon its investigators' opinions in its deliberations. Furthermore, the use of Board employees as experts to give opinion testimony would impose a significant administrative burden on the Board's investigative staff. Litigants must obtain their expert witnesses from other sources. (b) For the reasons stated in paragraph (a) of this section and Sec. 835.1, Board employees may only testify as to the factual information they obtained during the course of an investigation, including factual evaluations embodied in their factual accident reports. However, they shall decline to testify regarding matters beyond the scope of their investigation, and they shall not give any expert or opinion testimony.