United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
J.B., a minor, by and through his Next Friend, R ICKY BULLOCK, Plaintiff,
MISSOURI BAPTIST HOSPITAL OF SULLIVAN, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on three Motions to Exclude
filed by Defendant Missouri Baptist Hospital of Sullivan [46,
48, 50] and three Motions to Strike filed by Defendants Dr.
Shamim X. Amini and BC Missouri Emergency Physicians, LLP
[52, 54, 56]. These motions are substantially similar and
seek to exclude certain testimony and reports of three expert
witnesses retained by Plaintiff: (1) Dr. John Hughes, (2)
Delores Gonzalez, and (3) Brooke Liggett.
August 30, 2016, Plaintiff J.B., a minor, filed this medical
malpractice suit by and through his Next Friend, Ricky
Bullock, against Defendants Missouri Baptist Hospital of
Sullivan (“MBHS”), BC Missouri Emergency
Physicians, LLP, and Shamim X. Amini, M.D. (“Dr.
Amini”). Plaintiff alleges Defendants failed to
appropriately treat Plaintiff's left leg wound in the
MBHS Emergency Department, which resulted in Plaintiff
sustaining further injuries.
disclosed the following three experts to Defendants: Dr.
Hughes, an occupational medicine doctor; Dolores Gonzalez, a
vocational expert; and Brooke Liggett, an economic expert. On
December 15, 2017, Defendant MBHS filed three motions
relating to Plaintiff's proffered experts: (1) Motion to
Exclude Expert Testimony and Report of Dr. John Hughes as to
Plaintiff's Purported Functional Capacity , (2)
Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony and Report of Delores
Gonzalez ; and (3) Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony and
Report of Brooke Liggett . Defendants Dr. Amini and BC
Missouri Emergency Physicians, LLP, filed three motions which
are nearly identical to those filed by Defendant MBHS: (1)
Motion to Strike Testimony and Opinions of Dr. John Hughes
, Motion to Strike Testimony and Opinions of Delores
Gonzalez , and Motion to Strike Testimony and Opinions of
Brooke Liggett . Because the Defendants filed
substantially similar motions, this Court will concurrently
address the motions with respect to each proffered expert.
Motions to Exclude Testimony and Reports of Dr. Hughes [46,
ask this Court to exclude Dr. Hughes' testimony as to
Plaintiff's purported functional capacity for standing or
walking as a result of his alleged injuries. Specifically,
both motions cite language from Dr. Hughes' report
alleging Plaintiff's ability to stand or walk was reduced
to “perhaps as much as a maximum of four hours per
day.” Defendants state this language is vague and
speculative and is not reliable or admissible under Rule 702
and Daubert. They argue Dr. Hughes has admitted he
did not perform the functional capacity testing which they
allege is required for an expert to arrive at a reliable
opinion regarding Plaintiff's functional capacity.
response to these motions, Plaintiff stresses Dr. Hughes is
merely approximating and is not attempting to give a precise
figure. Plaintiff argues testimony is not rendered
inadmissible simply because it is inexact and that
Defendants' arguments concerning the imprecise nature of
the four-hour estimation should go to the credibility, and
not admissibility, of the testimony.
Motions to Exclude Testimony and Reports of Delores Gonzalez
ask this Court to exclude the entirety of Ms. Gonzalez's
opinion concerning the vocational capacity of Plaintiff
because it is speculative, unreliable, not based on
sufficient facts or evidence, and not helpful to the jury.
They allege Ms. Gonzalez bases her opinion on the report by
Dr. Hughes, specifically relying on his estimation that
Plaintiff now has a four-hour capacity to stand or walk.
Plaintiffs argue this estimation is inadmissible for the
reasons contained in their motions to exclude testimony of
Dr. Hughes, and as a result, Ms. Gonzalez's opinion must
response, Plaintiff reasserts his argument that the
estimation contained in Dr. Hughes' testimony is
admissible and states Ms. Gonzalez is permitted to rely on
the admissible evidence of a medical doctor to form her
opinion as a vocational expert. During oral argument on the
motion, Plaintiff further argued experts are permitted to
rely on information not otherwise admissible. Plaintiff's
response also states Defendants misrepresent the basis for
Ms. Gonzalez's opinion and argue Ms. Gonzalez performed
an extensive evaluation based on numerous sources which could
allow her to independently reach the same opinion.
Motions to Exclude Testimony and Reports of Brooke Liggett
ask this Court to strike the entirety of Ms. Liggett's
opinion because she relied on the opinions of Ms. Gonzalez
who relied on the report of Dr. Hughes. Defendants reassert
the arguments contained in the motions to exclude the
testimony and reports of Ms. Gonzalez and Dr. Hughes and
state Ms. Liggert's opinion is based on “two levels
of speculation by other expert witnesses, thus failing to
meet the standard for admissibility under Rule 702 and
response, Plaintiff reincorporates his response to the
motions to exclude the testimony and reports of Ms. Gonzalez
and Dr. Hughes, stating Defendants' analyses in those
motions provide the sole basis for this motion and because