Monday, June 8, 2009

Supremes Take Up Expert Witness Testimony and Rule for the Good Guys

Sullivan v. Metro North will be released on Monday. The decision is significant in that it reminds civil trial courts that the scope of expert testimony can be quite broad and that the trial judge that excludes such testimony does so at their peril. I consider this a "win" for the Plaintiff's bar.

Reminder to the Wise: There Are Limits on Your Medical Treatment in Accepted Comp Cases

In Caverno vs. Mory's Association the CRB has upheld the Trial Commissioner's denial of disc replacement surgery sought by the claimant. This case involves an accepted low back injury of long standing involving a waitress at the venerable Mory's in New Haven. After what appears to have been significant treatment/evaluations by various orthopedists and neurolgists, the claimant made her way to Dr. Yue at Yale who opined that he felt the claimant was an appropriate candidate for disc replacement surgery. The Commissioner, as is his right, ordered a Commissioner's exam with Dr. Druckemiller, a Hartford neurosugeon.

Dr. Druckemiller rendered an opinion which, following a formal hearing, the trial commissioner relied upon and denied the surgery proposed by Dr. Yue. The CRB has affirmed this denial.

I will refrain from editorializing on this decision and let the reader review the case and draw their own conclusions.