Radiology Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in NYPD Altercation Litigation

Radiology Expert Witness allowed to testify as the court found that her testimony was reliable.

Facts: This case (Monterey v. City Of New York , et al – United States District Court – Southern District of New York – November 12th, 2019) involves a claim of injuries sustained by the plaintiff after an altercation with the New York City Police Department (NYPD).  The plaintiff claims that he sustained an injury to his shoulder after NYPD officers grabbed him, pushed him to the ground, handcuffed him, and lifted him by his arms when they were handcuffed behind his back. The plaintiff has hired Dr. Nidhi Jain (Radiology Expert Witness) to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude this expert from testifying.

Discussion: The plaintiff would like to call Dr. Jain as his treating radiologist to testify that his shoulder injury is consistent with having his arms pulled from behind him during his arrest. The defendants claims that Dr. Jain’s testimony should be excluded because she is not qualified to offer an opinion on the Plaintiff’s shoulder injury and that her testimony is not relevant or reliable.

The plaintiff alleges that Dr. Jain’s testimony about an injury sustained from an alleged unlawful arrest and excessive force is directly related to his claims, which prove causation and damages.  The court agrees with the plaintiff on this part of the argument.

In addition, the defendants also argue that Dr. Jain’s testimony is not relevant or helpful to the jury because the report does not specifically opines that the injury was caused by the defendants’ conduct. The court disagrees with this argument, stating that Dr. Jain’s report indicates that the plaintiff’s injury is consistent with the alleged force and that there is some evidence that the Defendants’ use of “sudden force” caused the Plaintiff’s ligament sprain and is therefore helpful and relevant evidence.

Also, the defendants argue that Dr. Jain is not qualified to provide an expert opinion because she is a radiologist, not an orthopedist. The court notes that Dr. Jain is a medical doctor and a board-certified radiologist and has specialized training in Diagnostic Radiology and Musculoskeletal Radiology. The court also states that, although Dr. Jain is not an orthopedist, the fields of radiology and orthopedics are closely related. Thus, the court opines, Dr. Jain is qualified to evaluate the plaintiff’s MRI, diagnose a sprain, and opine on how this type of sprain might have occurred.

The defendants also argue that Dr. Jain’s conclusions are not reliable and therefore, not admissible. The defendants argue that Dr. Jain’s testimony is unreliable because she did not physically examine the plaintiff, did not explain how the sprain is consistent with the defendants use of force, and failed to provide a differential diagnosis.

On these points, the court opines with the plaintiff.

Conclusion: The motion to exclude the expert witness opinion testimony of Dr. Nidhi Jain is denied.