Plaintiff filed suit against the defendant related to an automobile accident. Plaintiff hired 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 (Clark v. Lard Oil Company, Inc. – United States District Court – Southern District of Mississippi – September 11th, 2019) involves an automobile accident involving a tanker truck driven by an employee of ACM Transportation. The accident caused a four-car pileup on Old Highway 11 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The plaintiff has hired Dr. Dinesh Goel (Family Practice/Family Medicine Expert Witness) to provide testimony. The defendants have filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.
Discussion: The defendant argues that Dr. Goel’s opinions as to any neurologic and orthopedic conditions should be excluded. Specifically, the defendant alleges that Dr. Goel’s opinion regarding the 20-pound weightlifting restriction placed on the plaintiff should be excluded. The defendants maintain that Dr. Goel is not qualified to render these opinions and that his opinions are unreliable.
The defendants argue that Dr. Goel is only a general practitioner and is not qualified to render an opinion on any neurological or orthopedic conditions of the plaintiff caused by the accident. The court opines that these arguments are best left to trial. The court does however address the 20-pound weight restriction.
The court opines that the defendants have not established that Dr. Goel’s opinion about the plaintiff being restricted to lifting 20 pounds requires specialized knowledge in orthopedics or neurology. The court notes that Dr. Goel’s education and experience are enough to make this determination. In addition, the court states that Dr. Goel has been practicing medicine for 43 years and specializes in soft tissue injury. In addition, the court opines that Dr. Goel sees patients on a regular basis.
The defendants are argue that Dr. Goel’s testimony as to the weightlifting restriction is nothing more that unsupported speculation. The defendants argue that Dr. Goel’s opinions on this issue have not been validated and that he based his opinions only on what the plaintiff has told him.
The court opines that while oral history is generally considered reliable, it does not appear that an oral history is not all that Dr. Goel relied on when forming his opinion. The court opines that Dr. Goel testified that he took all of the patient’s history, and ordered MRIs.
The defendants argue that Dr. Goel did not review any medical records, did not speak to any of the plaintiff’s treating physicians, and did not speak to any of the plaintiff’s family members. The court opines that Dr. Goel is not required to do such things and that these complaints go to the weight of the testimony and not their admissibility.
Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Dinesh Goel is denied.