The following blog entry is written from a defendant’s position as trial approaches. Reviewing this kind of briefing should help potential plaintiffs and clients better understand how parties in personal injury cases present such issues to the court.
(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this automobile accident case and its proceedings.)
Defendants’ Motion in Limine to Preclude Sydney Chu, Paul White, P.A., Dr. Smith, Dr. Greene, Dr. Finklestein, and Dr. Brown from Testifying as to Causation of Plaintiff’s Disc Injury
Defendants Donna Lee and Veronica Lee hereby move this Court for an order instructing that plaintiff, his witnesses and counsel are precluded from attempting to solicit, in any form or manner, any evidence from lay witnesses, non-retained treating physicians Paul White, P.A., Dr. John Brown, M.D., Dr. Devin Smith, or retained experts Sydney Chu, Dr. Andrew Greene, or Dr. Sean Finklestein as to the causation of his claimed injuries specific to plaintiff Henry Johnson’s February 2009 L5-S1 fusion surgery at Memorial Medical Center.
The basis for this motion is that plaintiff’s counsel disclosed that retained experts Sydney Chu, Dr. Sean Finklestein, and Dr. Andrew Greene would render opinions regarding causation for injuries from the subject accident that occurred on August 9, 2007. Also disclosed was that non-retained expert and treating medical provider Paul White, P.A., would also render an opinion on causation. For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.
At Dr. Greene’s and Mr. White’s depositions, each of these medical treaters testified that they would not render an opinion regarding the causation of plaintiff’s L5-S 1 disc injury that led to L5-S1 fusion surgery by Dr. Devin Smith at Memorial Medical Center, on or around February 6, 2009. As well, at deposition, Dr. Smith testified that he would not render any opinion on causation as to the L5-S1 fusion surgery that he performed.
As for Sydney Chu and Dr. Sean Finklestein, their opinions were that the forces in the accident were not sufficient to cause the disc injury that was treated by fusion surgery by Dr. Smith in February of 2009. For this reason, testimony from Mr. Barry and Dr. Finklestein does not establish a causal connection between the subject accident and this surgery, as they are not medical doctors and can not testify beyond that the forces in an accident were consistent with a later diagnosis of injury. Further, the sum of their testimony is that the forces in this accident are not consistent with a disc injury. Any causation testimony from Mr. Barry and Dr. Finklestein as pertains to this February 2009 surgery has little probative value, does not assist the trier of fact, may lead to confusion of the jury, and may create undue prejudice against the defense, in violation of Evidence Code Section 352. (See Part 2 of 5.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.