Radiology Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Part in Medical Malpractice Litigation Involving Filter

Summary:  Radiology Expert Witness testimony is allowed in part and excluded in part as the court determined that the expert was qualified to offer an opinion on the plaintiff’s back pain, but not his anxiety and depression.

Facts:  This case (Leus v. C.R. Bard, Inc. et al – United States District Court – Western District of Missouri – September 22, 2021) involves a claim of medical malpractice against a doctor who implanted a filter into the plaintiff who was going to have bariatric surgery.  The plaintiff claims that the filter punctured his inferior vena cava and caused back pain and internal bleeding.  The defendant hired Radiology Expert Witness Christopher Morris to provide testimony.  The plaintiff filed a motion to exclude Morris’s testimony from being admitted to the court.

Morris opined that the plaintiff’s doctor (Dr. Khan) should have removed the plaintiff’s filter when it was decided that he would not be undergoing surgery.  In addition, he notes that Dr. Khan possibly tilted the filter on implant.  The plaintiff argues that this second opinion is speculation because there is no evidence to support this conclusion.  The court opines that it agrees with this argument.  The court also states that Morris’s testimony is not helpful to a jury as a lay juror would not understand that a tilt in the filter is possible.

In addition, the plaintiff maintains that Morris has not offered any methodology for coming to his conclusions.  The court notes that, while the plaintiff has a point, this argument is better pursued in front of the jury on cross-examination.

Also, Morris explains that the plaintiff’s healthcare providers should have diagnosed the plaintiff’s DVT earlier as it would have been shown on an ultrasound.  The plaintiff argues that this is relevant because the plaintiff’s healthcare providers should have some blame in this case.  The court agreed with the plaintiff and this part of his opinion should be stricken from the record.

Finally, the plaintiff argues that Morris’s opinion that the filter did not cause the plaintiff’s back pain should be excluded because Morris is not board certified in orthopedic surgery.  The court disagrees with this argument and opines that this testimony will be allowed.  However, the court does opine that Morris will not be allowed to testify that the plaintiff’s anxiety and depression did not arise because of the filter.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert opinion of Dr. Christopher Morris is granted in part and denied in part.