Plaintiff filed suit against cruise line related to a personal injury claim. Defendants hired a Radiology Expert Witness and plaintiff hired an Orthopedic Surgery Expert Witness to provide testimony. Both parties filed motions to exclude, which were denied by the court.
Facts: This case (Dawsey v. Carnival Corporation et al – United States District Court – Southern District of Florida – October 5th, 2018) involves a personal injury claim. The plaintiff alleges that she fractured her hip during a bamboo massage while on the defendant’s cruise ship. She claims that the masseuse broker her hip due to excessive force with the bamboo and that the injuries required surgery and extensive treatment and rehabilitation. The defendants states that the plaintiff suffered from preexisting back pain, lied about these preexisting conditions and contend that the massage did not cause the hip injury. The defendants hired Radiology Expert Witness Dr. Mitchell Whiteman. The plaintiff hired Orthopedic Surgery Expert Witness Dr. Christopher Troiano. Both parties wish to exclude the expert witness testimony of the other’s expert.
Discussion: The plaintiff alleges that Dr. Whiteman is not qualified to provide expert witness testimony in this case because she is not a surgeon and does not treat patients with hip fractures. In addition, the defendant states that this doctor ignored portions of her deposition that undermine the opinions in his report. Third, the plaintiff contends that Dr. Whiteman did not consider the force applied during the alleged massage. Last, the plaintiff argues that Dr. Whiteman’s opinion on causation is not proper and reliable.
The court opines that this motion is denied. The court states that Dr. Whiteman is qualified to offer expert opinions in this case and that the plaintiff is free to cross-examine him at trial. The court also notes that the plaintiff bears the burden of proving causation.
The defendants would like to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Troiano, who reviewed the plaintiff’s medical records and concluded that the hip injury was caused by the massage. The defendants do not challenge the credentials of Dr. Troiano, but do challenge the methodology he used to come to his conclusions. In addition, they state that his opinion will not be of any assistance to the jury. The court opines that the testimony of Dr. Troiano should be subject to substantial challenge as reviewing only medical records selected by the plaintiff’s attorney is problematic. Thus, the court opines that it will deny without prejudice the defendants’ motion to exclude Dr. Troiano’s expert opinion and that the defendants will be afforded a full opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Troiano at trial.
Conclusion: The motions to exclude Dr. Mitchell Whiteman and Dr. Christopher Troiano are denied.