Orthopedic Surgery Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Motor Vehicle Accident Case.

Orthopedic Surgery Expert Witness allowed to testify despite the argument that he was not qualified.

Facts: This case (Sigsby v. Cardinal Logistics Management Corporation et al – United States District Court – Eastern District of Louisiana – February 12th, 2019) involves a motor vehicle accident between the plaintiff and defendant.  The only remaining issues in the case are the nature, extent, and cause of the plaintiff’s damages.  The defendant has hired Dr. Andrew G. Todd (Orthopedic Surgery Expert Witness) to provide testimony on the efficacy of radiofrequency ablation procedures  (“RFAs”), how long RFAs are effective, the need for repeat RFAs, how frequently RFAs can be repeated; and how many future RFAs will be medically necessary for the plaintiff.  The plaintiff has filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of this expert.

Discussion:  The plaintiff argues that Dr. Todd is not qualified to offer testimony about the efficacy or required frequency of RFAs because he does not perform RFAs as part of his practice.  Dr. Todd states that, although he is trained to administer RFAs and recommends them to his patients, he refers the actual procedures to pain management doctors.  The defendants argue that Dr. Todd’s opinions are based on his experience and have a sufficiently reliable foundation.  The court agrees with the defendants.

The court opines that while Dr. Todd may not personally perform RFAa, he is familiar with the procedure.  In addition, Dr. Todd has been recommending RFAa for over a decade.  The plaintiff relies on Dr. Todd’s testimony that his opinions were based, in part, on discussions that he has had over the years with pain management doctors, however, the court notes that this is not an entirely accurate representation of Dr. Todd’s experience.

In addition, the court notes that Dr. Todd testified that he has over a decade’s worth of experience treating patients who have received RFAs on his recommendation.  The court also states that, although Dr. Todd may not have significant experience performing RFAs, his opinions do not relate to the technical nuances of the procedure, but to the procedure’s effectiveness and necessity of repeated RFAa over time.

The plaintiff also alleges that Dr. Todd could not articulate any peer-reviewed studies or other evidence supporting his assertion that RFAs are only administered, at most, five to seven times.  The court notes that this type of challenge is best suited for cross-examination during trial.

The court opines that Dr. Todd’s opinions are based on his personal knowledge, training, and experience, all of which serve as a reliable basis for his testimony.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Andrew G. Todd is denied.