Plaintiff sued defendants for injuries caused by a head-on automobile collision. The defendants hired a neuroradiology expert witness and a neuropsychology expert witness to assist in their case. The plaintiff filed motions to exclude these experts, which were denied by the court.
Facts: This case (Koenig v. Beekmans et al – United States District Court – Western District of San Antonio) involves a personal injury as a result of a head-on collision between the Plaintiff and Defendants. As a result of the crash, Koenig was injured and seeks damages in excess of $1 Million. The injury at issue in this case is whether the collision caused Koenig to suffer a traumatic brain injury and a herniated L5-S1 disc. To assist with his case, Beekmans hired neuroradiology expert witness Dr. Andrew E. Auber and neuropsychology expert witness Dr. William Dailey. Koenig subsequently filed motions to exclude the testimony of these experts. The court filed two separate opinions, one for Dailey and one for Auber.
Discussion: Dr. Dailey was hired to assess the appropriateness of the Starry Night test in diagnosing brain injury and neurological deficits. Koenig attacks Dr. Dailey’s qualifications as well as the reliability of his opinion. The court opined that Dr. Dailey is qualified to offer his opinion in this case as he has a doctoral degree in biological psychology and has performed neurological assessments on patients for over 30 years. Koenig argues that Dr. Daily does not have the qualifications to offer his opinion on the Starry Night test because he doesn’t have any specialized knowledge regarding this test. Koenig points to deposition testimony in which Dr. Dailey admits that he was not familiar with the Starry Night text before he was hired for this case. The judge disagreed, stating that Dr. Dailey’s education satisfies the Daubert test for this case.
Koenig also argues that Dr. Dailey’s opinions are not reliable because he did not conduct a review of the scientific literature before he formulated his opinion. These arguments do not go to the admissibility of the testimony and can be subject to cross examination of the witness.
Dr. Auber was retained to evaluate Koenig’s radiological care and to interpret his studies. Koenig argues that Dr. Auber’s opinion is speculative, conclusory, and unreliable. Dr. Auber stated that Koenig suffers from mild degeneration of the L5-S1 disc that predates the accident. Koenig argues that Dr. Auber’s opinion conflicts with that of Dr. Toohey, Beekmans’ other retained expert. The court opined that these types of arguments go to the weight of the testimony, not the admissibility.
Conclusion: The motions to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Andrew E. Auber and Dr. William Dailey are denied.