Summary: Radiology Expert Witness testimony is allowed despite the defendant’s claims that the expert witnesses causation theory that the accident caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage is not supported by empirical evidence.
Facts: This case (Ortiz v. ReliaStar Life Ins. – United States District Court – Eastern District of Texas – February 17th, 2022) involves a claim against an insurance company for a denial of benefits related to a vehicle accident. The plaintiff’s husband passed away on April 13th, 2018 after he was rear-ended while they were at a red light. Ortiz’s husband, William, asked his sons not to tell his wife, Shemily, about the accident as he did not want her to be upset. The next morning, William was taken to the hospital, where Shemily learned about the accident. A CT scan revealed that William had a subarachnoid hemorrhage (“SAH”) and a radiologist diagnosed him with “ruptured flow related aneurysm related to [arteriovenous malformation (‘AVM’)]”. William subsequently passed away from the SAH. ReliaStar denied Shemily’s insurance claim as the policy excludes loss directly or indirectly caused by a physical illness, namely the AVM. The plaintiff hired Radiology Expert Witness Sina Meisamy, M.D. to provide expert testimony. The defendant filed a motion to exclude this testimony.