Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Expert Witness Testimony Allowed

Plaintiff filed suit against defendants related to a slip and fall.  Plaintiff hired a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Expert Witness to provide testimony.  Defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.  The court denied the motion.

Facts:  This case (Prettyman v. Apple Central KC – United States District Court – Western District of Missouri – May 10th, 2019) involves a slip and fall at an Applebee’s restaurant.  The plaintiff claims that he sustained personal injuries, aggravated a pre-existing injury, disfigurement, loss of wages, economic losses, ongoing pain and suffering, emotional distress. and loss of enjoyment of life.  In addition, the defendant claims that his injuries are permanent and progressive.  The plaintiff has hired Atul Patel, M.D. (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Expert Witness) to provide testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The defendant argues that an adequate differential diagnosis was not made, Dr. Patel did not use any methodology, and there was no technique subject to peer review, publication, or general acceptance by the medical community.  The defendant states that Dr. Patel’s opinions are based on nothing more than the plaintiff’s subjective complaints.

According to Dr. Patel, his opinions are based on his experience, education, training, review of Plaintiff’s medical records, review of radiology studies, and from plaintiff’s deposition testimony.  Dr. Patel’s report opined that to a reasonable degree of medical probability that the plaintiff’s problems with the back were exacerbated by his fall and are causing him now to have issues with back pain and pain into his left leg.  During his deposition, Dr. Patel testified that the plaintiff’s fall at the restaurant more likely than not exacerbated the plaintiff’s chronic medical issues which predated his fall.

The court opines that Dr. Patel’s opinions and testimony rest on good grounds, are based on what is known, are supported by medical records and plaintiff’s testimony, and would assist the jury and that any doubts that the court has with regard to Dr. Patel’s opinions and testimony must be resolved in favor of admissibility.  In addition, the court opines that the jury will consider Dr. Patel’s opinions and testimony, determine his credibility, and afford whatever weight as the jury sees fit.

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