Urology Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Medical Malpractice Case

Summary: The court ruled that a Urology Expert Witness will be able to testify in a medical malpractice case.

Facts: In this case (Robert Teel v. United States of America – United States District Court – Northern District of Oklahoma – January 7th, 2020) involves a medical malpractice claim brought by Mr. Teel, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Teel was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and was being treated at the Claremore Indian Hospital.

Tell claims that Claremore Indian Hospital delayed and made his cancer worse by not referring him to a urologist and administering testosterone injections.  Mr. Teel hired a Urology Expert Witness  Dr. Marc Steven Milsten to provide expert witness testimony on his behalf.  The defendant claims that Dr. Milsten’s opinions are not reliable and based on speculation.

First, the defendant challenges Dr. Milsten’s opinion that the testosterone treatment administered to Mr. Teel caused his prostate cancer to grow. The defendant says that Dr. Milsten did not provide any testing or studies to support his view. In addition, the defendant states that Dr. Milsten did not mention, or engage with, the research that was provided by the defendant’s expert. Also, the defendant says that Dr. Milsten does not support his opinions with anything beyond his own subjective views and does not employ any scientific methodology.

The plaintiff does not agree. He explains that Dr. Milsten based his opinion on a scientific study and laboratory observation as well as his clinical experience. The judge opined that Dr. Milsten’s expert witness opinion was sufficiently reliable.  First, the court states that the relationship between testosterone and prostate cancer has been tested.

Also, the court opined that Dr. Milsten’s view has been the subject of peer review. In addition, the judge points to a 2016 peer reviewed publication that presents the opposing view that there is no causal link between testosterone therapy and the growth of prostate cancer.  The plaintiff has passed the Daubert test by showing that Dr. Milsten’s opinion is supported by published studies, laboratory observation, clinical experience, and analysis of Mr. Teel’s PSA scores.

Second, the plaintiff is challenging Dr. Milsten’s opinion on the causal link between Mr. Teel’s alleged damages and the alleged delay in diagnosis. Dr. Milsten testified that, based on Mr. Teel’s PSA scores, he prostate cancer would have been detected as early as 2014. The court notes that this opinion is based upon Dr. Milsten’s clinical experience, analysis of Mr. Teel’s PSA scores, and the biological understanding of prostate cancer.

Dr. Milsten testified that the testosterone therapy accelerates the growth of cancer cells, the progression of prostate cancer, as well as the potential for metastasis.  The court opined that Dr. Milsten’s expert witness opinion is supported by published studies, clinical experience, laboratory observation and his analysis of Mr. Teel’s PSA scores.

Conclusion: The court opined that the motion to exclude the expert witness opinion of Dr. Marc Steven Milsten should be allowed in this case.