Pain Management Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Drugs Litigation

Pain Management Expert Witness allowed to provide testimony as the court opined that he is qualified to testify.

Facts:  This case (United States of America v. Nasher-Alneam – United States District Court – Southern District of West Virginia – March 25th, 2019) involves a criminal complaint against a physician.  The defendant is charged with fourteen counts of distributing drugs illegally, two counts of distribution causing death, two counts of maintaining a premises involving drugs, and four counts of international money laundering.  The government has hired Pain Management Expert Witness Dr. Gene Kennedy to provide testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this testimony.

Discussion:  Dr. Kennedy received his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed a family medical residency at Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia. Dr. Kennedy has operated a pain management clinic for fourteen years, and holds a pain management license issued by the State of Georgia.  Dr. Kennedy has over 1,000 charts in his system.  Most of these are patients which are treated with narcotics.  Dr. Kennedy also has conducted peer reviews for the Georgia State Medical Board, in which he looks at standard of care issues to determine whether the given treatment acts in accordance with the requisite standards of care.  In addition, Dr. Kennedy has taught on the subject of pain management as an adjunct professor.

Dr. Kennedy has also served as an expert witness on this topic seven times in federal courts.  These cases were mostly criminal and he has never been rejected as an expert in pain management.

In the present case, Dr. Kennedy was given nineteen of the defendant’s charts to review in preparation of this case.  His role as an expert was to provide an opinion as to whether there was a legitimate medical purpose for the defendant’s treatment of his patients.  In addition, Dr. Kennedy also explained that he reviewed the charts to ascertain whether the medicine was distributed within a legitimate guide-post.  Dr. Kennedy stated that the way he reviewed the patients’ charts is accepted in the medical community as the proper framework and that he applied these guidelines in reviewing the defendant’s patients’ charts.

The court opines that Dr. Kennedy is qualified to testify as an expert in this case.  In addition, the court opines that Dr. Kennedy’s testimony is relevant, reliable, and will be helpful to the jury.  Also, the methods used by Dr. Kennedy have been subject to peer review and publication and they are standard practices.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the testimony of Dr. Gene Kennedy is denied.