Nephrology (Kidney) Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Products Liability Litigation

Nephrology (Kidney) Expert Witness allowed to provide testimony as the court determined that his expert report will assist the jury.

Facts:  This case (Godelia et al v. ZOLL Services, LLC – United States District Court – Southern District of Florida – August 19th, 2019) involves a products liability claim.  The decedent’s family claims that the defendant’s LifeVest did not work as directed.  The plaintiff has hired Nephrology (Kidney) Expert Witness Rajdeep Gadh, M.D. to provide testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The defendant designs, manufactures, and markets the LifeVest, which is a wearable defibrillator for patients at risk for a sudden cardiac arrest.  The plaintiff was wearing the LifeVest when she experienced a defibrillation event and lost consciousness and the LifeVest did not administer a shock.  The decedent subsequently died in the hospital.

Dr. Gadh opines that the decedent’s life expectancy was 8.8 years and, had she undergone a kidney transplant, her life would have been extended an additional 25 years.  The defendant claims that Dr. Gadh’s testimony should be excluded because his opinions are not reliable and will not assist the trier of fact in this case.  The court opines that the defendant’s arguments go to the weight of the evidence and not their admissibility.

First, the court opines that Dr. Gadh’s testimony is reliable.  The court notes that Dr. Gadh took into account the decedent’s age, sex, modality of dialysis, and the fact that she was a diabetic and had heart disease.  He used his experience and the 2017 United States Renal Data System (“USRDS”) Annual Data Report, Volume 2 – End Stage Renal Disease (“ESRD”) (“Table 5.4”) to come to his conclusions.

The defendant allege that Dr. Gadh did nothing more than copy the values from Table 5.4 without applying clinical analysis or methodology.  The court opines that while Dr. Gadh’s opinion used Table 5.4, he did take into account other evidence, such as his experience with the patient and her specific health issues to reach his conclusions.  The court opines that the defendant’s arguments go to the weight of the evidence, not their admissibility.

The court also opines that Dr. Gadh’s opinions will assist the jury as he will be able to explain Table 5.4 as it specifically relates to the decedent’s unique conditions and characteristics.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Rajdeep Gadh, M.D. is denied.