Pediatrics Expert Witness Testimony Not Allowed in Childbirth Medical Negligence Case

Summary: Pediatrics Expert Witness testimony is not allowed as the expert did not cite any authority that HIW can cause ASD.

Facts:  This case (Scottoline v. Women First, LLC – Delaware Superior Court – March 1, 2023) involves a medical negligence claim.  The plaintiffs assert that their child was deprived of oxygen during labor and delivery and, as a result, has an ongoing medical condition that falls within the autism spectrum.  To assist in their case, the plaintiffs hired Pediatrics Expert Witness Daniel Adler, M.D. to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert witness from testifying.

Discussion: In his expert witness reports, Dr. Adler opined that all of the child’s disabilities are a result of the injury that he sustained during labor and delivery.  The court notes in the opinion that Dr. Adler’s report does not explain how he reached that conclusion.

In addition, the court states that Dr. Adler does not cite any any article or other authority to support his conclusion that HIE can cause ASD.  In his deposition, Dr. Adler mentioned four articles that he read to form his conclusion.  The judge notes, however, that none of the articles show that HIE causes autism.  Thus, the court opines that Dr. Adler’s expert witness opinion that HIE is one cause of ASD is not reliable.

Also, the court opines that Dr. Adler’s opinion about the casual link between HIE and ASJ is not admissible because he did not provide a reliable methodology that the child’s ASD was cause by HIE and not other possible causes.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Daniel Adler, M.D. is granted.