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Expert medical witness banned from testifying

Expert witnesses may be vital part in a Nevada personal injury lawsuit to prove a cause of action or to bolster a defense. In a rare move that may impact witness qualifications, two Las Vegas judges barred a local neurosurgeon from presenting testimony in two cases because he was biased against plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

The physician provides second opinion testimony on behalf of insurance cases in these cases. He earns approximately one million each year for testifying.

In a lengthy and very critical opinion in March, one judge found that his testimony was overly personal and used unreliable methodology. The judge banned his testimony because of the physician's history of personal partiality concerning some treating physicians and intense bias against plaintiffs.

The ruling was unusual because it took 11 days of testimony to compile a full record on the qualifications of an expert witness. The opinion contained a detailed evaluation of 371 of the expert's reports. The expert disagreed with the plaintiff's treating doctor approximately 95 percent of the time and 85 percent of the time he disagreed with medical diagnosis that there was an injury or sprain.

Hs case notes contained derisive comments on other doctors and blamed mental or psychological conditions for injuries even though he is not a psychiatrist. He told the court that he could diagnose and treat depression and anxiety without neuropsychological testing.

The court also found that this witness told plaintiffs that he should use other treatment plans and exceeded the scope of being an independent medical examiner by talking about the strengths and flaws in a personal injury case.

Another judge disqualified this witness from presenting testimony in a different case in 2015 after ruling that he was biased. In a third case, the plaintiff's attorney in a car accident case is taking the rare action of filing a lawsuit against him claiming that he engaged in a conspiracy with an insurance company and intentionally interfered with the insurance contract because of his severe bias.

A victim of negligence should seek legal assistance when seeking compensation. An attorney can help obtain and present evidence and challenge the qualifications and conclusions of witnesses challenging a plaintiff's case.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Judge ban Las Vegas doctor from serving as expert witness in 2 cases," By Jane Ann Morrison, June 21, 2017

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