Plaintiff (estate of decedent) sued defendant for negligence after the death of an inmate. The defendant hired two Pathology Expert Witnesses and a Nursing Expert Witness to assist in her case. The plaintiff filed motions to exclude, which were granted by the court.
Facts: This case (Andrews v. Woody et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Virginia – May 31st, 2018) involves a medical negligence claim. The plaintiff’s estate argues that the defendants should be held liable for the death of the decedent after he experienced a fatal seizure while incarcerated. In order to prove their case, the defendants hired Jack Daniel, MD (Pathology Expert Witness), Allison Rego Ernest (Nursing Expert Witness), and William J. Brady, M.D. (Pathology Expert Witness). The plaintiff filed motions to exclude the testimony of these expert witnesses.
Discussion: The plaintiff argues that Dr. Daniel’s opinion should be excluded because they are unreliable and unhelpful. The court agrees, by opining that Dr. Daniel failed to explain how his experience leads to the conclusions reached, why his experience is a good enough basis for his opinion, and how his experience is reliably applied to the facts. The defendants allege that Dr. Daniel’s testimony is based on all available data and what a pathologist would use to provide conlcusions on the cause of death. the court continued by stating that an expert may not simply state that his opinions are based on a review of the relevant materials, but must explain how and why they are so. Last, the court opines that Dr. Daniel’s expert testimony should be excluded because his opinions amount to comparisons and evaluations of evidence, which is solely withing the province of the jury.
The plaintiff also argues that Nurse Ernest’s opinions should be excluded as unreliable because she does not explain how her experience led to the conclusion reached, why her experience is a sufficient basis for that conclusion, and how her experience was reliably applied to the facts of the case. The court agrees by stating that Nurse Ernest fails to explain how her education, training, and experience led her to reach her conclusions. In addition, Nurse Ernst does not establish the standards by which she purports to evaluate the standard of care provided to the decedent. Last, she never explains how her experience leads to the conclusions reached.
Last, the plaintiff argues that Dr. Brady’s opinion should be excluded because it is unreliable and unhelpful because he does not explain how his experience leads to his reached conclusions and why his experience is a sufficient basis for his opinion. Also, his opinions in one part of the report should be excluded because they amount to an evaluation of evidence that is within common knowledge of the jury and would thus be unhelpful, not relevant, and possibly confusing.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Jack Daniel, MD, Allison Rego Ernest, and William J. Brady, M.D. is granted.