Chiropractic Expert Witness Testimony Allowed

Plaintiff filed suit after a collision occurred at defendant’s retail store.  The plaintiff hired a chiropractic expert witness to provide testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this testimony.  The court denied the motion to exclude.

Facts: This case (Samuel Lee v. Kmart Corporation – United States District Court – District Court of the Virgin Islands – July 18th, 2017) involves a collision that occurred between the plaintiff (Lee) and an employee of the defendant (Kmart).  The employee allegedly collided a shopping cart with Lee’s cart, causing physical injury to Lee.  The plaintiff hired Jason Williams (chiropractic expert witness) to provide expert testimony.  Kmart filed a motion to exclude this expert witness testimony.

Discussion:  Kmart argues that Dr. Williams should not be allowed to testify as to causation or prognosis as he failed to take a full medical history.  Kmart also alleges that Dr. Williams relied on selective self-reporting which should be a determining factor on admissibility.  This failure to take a full medical history, Kmart argues, shows that Dr. Williams’ opinion is unsupported speculation.  In addition, Kmart argues that his testimony does not “fit” because he wasn’t aware of the full evidence surrounded the collision, and thus would not assist the trier of fact.  Last, Dr. Williams did not engage in any differential diagnosis, which is further evidence that the testimony does not “fit”.

The plaintiff responds by stating that Dr. Williams is qualified due to his educational background and experience.  In addition, Lee argues that Dr. Williams’ methodology are “good enough” to pass muster under Daubert and should be questioned under cross-examination.  In addition, she states that Dr. Williams’ methods are standard procedure and that his testimony  will assist the trier of fact.

During his deposition, Dr. Williams testified that the force of the impact of the collision was relevant to the treatment performed.  In addition, he could not provide an opinion on the source of Lee’s lower back pain and replied that “anything is possible” when questioned  about other causes of his injuries.

Dr. Williams testified that he performed numerous tests on Lee to ascertain where he was experiencing pain.  He then concluded that his test results were consistent with Lee’s account of the incident in Kmart, which is how he arrived at the causation conclusions.  In addition, Kmart has pointed to prior accidents, his sports activity, and his work as potential sources for the injury, but Dr. Williams stated that none of these potential sources affected his diagnosis.  The court agrees with the plaintiff by opining that his methodology is sufficiently reliable.  Any arguments can be discussed on cross-examination. In addition, the court rules that Dr. Williams’ prognosis  testimony is reliable as well and that any weaknesses can be pursued on cross examination.

Last, the court opined that Dr. Williams’ testimony is relevant to the case and that it would assist the trier of fact.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Jason Williams is denied.