Plaintiff appeals an opinion of the district court allowing, in part, the testimony of plaintiff’s Radiology Expert Witness.
Facts: This case (Robin Burkhart v. R. Dickel – United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit – May 2nd, 2018) involves the alleged use of excessive force by the defendants while arresting the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleges that during the arrest, the defendants caused severe injuries to her left leg. The jury in the district court case found for the defendant. The plaintiff has appealed the opinion of the district court arguing that it abused its discretion when it admitted the testimony the plaintiff’s Radiology Expert Witness Dr. Barry Daly, regarding whether the plaintiff had osteoporosis at the time of the injury.
Discussion: The plaintiff wanted to exclude some of the opinions of Dr. Daly. Specifically, she argued that Daly shouldn’t be allowed to opine that she had osteoporosis in her left leg on the day of her arrest and that Daly should not be allowed to testify about the mechanism of her injury. The district court agreed with the plaintiff regarding the mechanism of the injury, but denied the motion regarding the other opinion.
Daly testified that osteoporosis was evident in the scan after she sustained her injury and that it would have been present on the arrest date. The plaintiff alleges that Daly was not qualified to opine that the condition was evident three weeks prior and that she could have developed osteoporosis in the interim period. Daly explained how he came to his conclusions and the methods used to conclude that the plaintiff had osteoporosis on the day of her arrest and his opinion is sufficiently grounded.
In addition, Daly also testified that the type of injuries the plaintiff suffered typically are the result of high impact car accidents, which was not an issue in this case. Again, Daly’s testimony is based on sound evidence and methodology and the court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed this testimony.
Last, in his testimony, Daly discussed risk factors in developing osteoporosis. the plaintiff argued that Daly did not review all of the her records prior to testifying which risk factors applied to the plaintiff. The court noted that the records were readily available from the plaintiff’s treating physicians. Thus, the court noted that Daly’s testimony was supported in the record.
Conclusion: The appeals court affirmed the opinion of the lower court and the jury admitting the expert witness testimony of Dr. Barry Daly.