Plaintiff filed suit against defendant related to a trucking accident. Plaintiff hired a Family Practice/Family Medicine Expert Witness to provide testimony. Defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying. The court denied the motion to exclude.
Facts: This case (ABED-RABUH v. HOOBRAJH et al – United States District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania – May 30th, 2019) involves a trucking accident. The plaintiff alleges that he was injured when the tractor-trailer he was driving collided with another tractor-trailer driven by the defendant, which was disabled on the side of the road. The plaintiff hired Family Practice/Family Medicine Expert Witness Dr. Ruth Jones, D.O. to provide expert witness testimony in this case. The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.
Discussion: Dr. Jones opined that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the trucking accident. In addition, Dr. Jones opined that the plaintiff will not be able to return to his occupation as a truck driver.
The defendants argue that Dr. Jones does not have the requisite qualifications to give an opinion in this case as she is a family medicine doctor and not an orthopedist or biomechanical engineer. In addition, the defendants argue that Dr. Jones is not qualified to provide an opinion on causation because she does not have specialized experience in surgery or treating complicated orthopedic injuries. In addition, the defendants argue that Dr. Jones does not have the biomedical expertise to render an opinion on causation in this case.
The plaintiff argues that Dr. Jones should be qualified to offer an opinion in this case based on her education, training, and experience and that any arguments about qualification go to the weight of the evidence, not the admissibility. The court opines that it agrees with the plaintiff.
The defendants also argue that Dr. Jones’s testimony should be excluded because her opinions are based on unreliable methodology. The defendants argue that Dr. Jones guess about the amount of force that the accident generated. The defendants also argue that Dr. Jones did not perform any calculations to determine how much force the accident generated.
The court opines that the reliability factors weigh in favor of permitting Dr. Jones to testify. The court opines that Dr. Jones reviewed the plaintiff’s medical records and conducted a physical examination of the plaintiff. Then, she opines that the plaintiff’s injury was caused by the accident. The court opines that she based her conclusions on her analysis of record evidence and her medical judgment.
The court further opines that it is generally accepted that medical experts can form conclusions based on a review of medical records and a physical examination of the subject.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Ruth Jones, D.O. is denied.