Neuropsychiatry Expert Witness Testimony Allowed

Plaintiff sued defendant for medical malpractice.  The plaintiff hired a Neuropsychiatry Expert Witness to provide causation testimony.  This testimony was challenged by the defendant, but denied by the court.

Facts:  This case (Robinson, et al. v. Regional Hematology and Oncology, P.A., et al. – Superior Court of the State of Delaware – May 8th, 2018) involves a medical malpractice claim.  The plaintiffs argue that the defendants are responsible for injuries sustained by the wife after she developed an infection.  The plaintiffs allege that the defendants delay in bringing in the wife for treatment caused the wife to suffer substantial injuries.  The plaintiffs hired Neuropsychiatry Expert Witness, Dr. Neil Kaye, M.D. as a causation witness.  The defendants subsequently filed a motion to exclude this expert witness testimony.

Discussion:  The defendants allege that Dr. Kaye is not qualified to offer an opinion of an MRI because he is not a neurologist or a neuroradiologist and he does not have specific training and education in those fields of study.  In addition, they argue that his opinion that the wife is at an increased risk for dementia should be excluded because it is not reliable, he did not provide a quantification of the increased risk, and that the opinion was not included in his expert report.

The court first ruled that Dr. Kaye is qualified to offer an opinion in this case.  He is a neuropsychiatrist and reviews MRI’s in his practice, which is includes neuroimaging.  Thus, he has the skills, knowledge, and experience to qualify as an expert witness in this case.  In addition, the court ruled that his opinion is relevant and will assist the jury.  Also, his opinion is based on information that is easily relied on by experts in the field.  The court also opined that any arguments as to Dr. Kaye’s qualifications go to the weight of the evidence, not the admissibility.

The defendants also argue that Dr. Kaye’s opinion that the wife is at an increased risk for developing premature demential should be excluded for three reasons.

First, they argue that Dr. Kaye’s opinions are not reliable nor based on information relied on by experts in the field.  The court disagreed, stating that Dr. Kaye relayed that there are abundant articles available to support his theories.  The defendants then assert that Dr. Kaye did not point to any articles, but the court noted that Delaware law does not require him to do so.

Second, they argue that Dr. Kaye did not quantify the increased risk that the wife will suffer premature dementia.  The court opined that Dr. Kay was not required to provide this information as part if his expert report.  Last, they argue that Dr. Kaye’s opinion about the premature dementia was absent from his report and should thus be excluded.  the court ruled that Dr. Kaye was answering questions posed by plaintiff’s counsel and should thus be admissible.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr.  Neil Kaye, M.D. is denied