Biomechanics Expert Witness Allowed

Appellant appeals an opinion of the lower court allowing the testimony of a biomechanics expert witness.  The appellant argues that the lower court erred when it allowed the expert to testify.  The appeals court disagreed, confirming the opinion of the circuit court.

Facts:  This case (Curtis Brown v. Professional Building Services, Inc. – Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi – October 17th, 2017) is an appeal from a circuit court jury verdict.  The appellant (Brown) alleged that he suffered suffered simultaneous bilateral patellar tendon ruptures when he fell over a chair at his job.  He sued the appellee (PBS), a professional cleaning service for negligence.  In order to assist in their case, PBS hired Dr. Charles Bain (biomechanics expert witness) to provide his expert opinions.  Brown argued that Dr. Bain’s testimony should have been excluded under Daubert, but the court allowed it.  This is part of the current appeal.

Discussion:  Dr. Bain has an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering as well as medical degree.  After practicing emergency medicine for nineteen years, he studied biomechanics.  he was written articles in the field of biomechanics and numerous courts have accepted him as an expert witness.  To be sure, come courts have excluded his expert testimony as well.

In the present case, Dr. Bain conducted an Injury Causation Analysis (ACA).  Along with the ACA, he also reviewed Brown’s medical records, documents that were produced in discovery, and depositions.  He testified that walking into a chair would generate enough force to produce a bilateral patellar tendon rupture.  After Brown argued that Dr. Bain’s testimony should be excluded, the trial judge opined that he was qualified and that he testimony was relevant and admissible.

Now on appeal, Brown argues that the trial judge erred when he allowed Dr. Bain’s expert testimony.  Brown alleges that Dr. Bain’s opinions are not reliable because he did not conduct any testing, did not take any measurements, examine brown, or visit the scene of the injury.  The appeals court disagreed with Brown by stating that the lower court judge did not abuse his discretion when he allowed Dr. Bain to testify.  In addition, the appeals court opined that Dr. Bain’s testimony was relevant to the issues of the case and his scientific knowledge will assist the trier of fact.

The court went along to state that the record at issue is limited as Brown did not file a pretrial motion to exclude, did not present any evidence challenging the validity of Dr. Bain’s opinions, and only engaged in a brief cross examination of Bain.

In addition, while Brown that Dr. Bain did not perform any testing in this case, the appeals court opined that nothing in this case shows that the simple facts of the case require testing.

Conclusion:  The appeal from the circuit court opinion allowing Dr. Bain to testify as an expert witness is denied.