Radiology Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Kidnapping Case

Summary: Radiology Expert Witness testimony allowed even though the defendant argued that there is no certification for forensic radiology.

Facts:  This case (United States v. Mariscal-Lopez – United States District Court – District of New Mexico – December 21, 2022) involves a claim by the United States Government against the plaintiff related to a two count indictment for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping resulting in death.  The plaintiff hired Radiology Expert Witness Dr. Gary Mlady to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion:  The defendant alleges that Dr. Mlady is not qualified in forensic radiology as there is no certification for forensic radiology.  In addition, the defendant argues that Dr. Mlady’s radiographic comparison is purely subjective.

The court says that, even though one cannot be accredited in the United States for forensic radiology, Mr. Mlady’s experience, knowledge, and education supports the argument that his is qualified as a forensic radiologist.  The court notes that Dr. Mlady is the Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of New Mexico.  In addition, he consults with the Office of Medical Examiners and was the primary radiologist for six to seven years and has completed over 100 accurate radiographic comparison identifications.  Thus, the court opines, Dr. Mlady is qualified in the field of forensic radiology.

Regarding reliability, the court notes that there is a lack of standardization  with radiographic comparison identification.  However, the court finds that Dr. Mlady’s methodology and protocols are reliable under Daubert.

The court goes on to say that it is the court’s task to determine the admissibility of Dr. Mlady’s expert witness testimony in this specific case, not for all cases.  The court states that Dr. Mlady provided the methodology for his expert witness opinions and that Dr. Mlady’s methodology is identical to the SWGFA procedures.  Thus, the court states that Dr. Mlady’s expert witness opinion is relevant.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Gary Mlady is denied.