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Bamber v. Prime Healthcare Kansas City - Physician's Services, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

August 14, 2019

NORMAN BAMBER, M.D. Plaintiff,
v.
PRIME HEALTHCARE KANSAS CITY - PHYSICIAN'S SERVICES, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST TO EXCLUDE EXPERT TESTIMONY OF DR. DAVID SIEGEL

          ORTRIE D. SMITH, SENIOR JUDGE

         Pending is Plaintiff's request to exclude expert testimony of Dr. David Siegel. Doc. #127. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's request is granted, and Dr. Siegel's expert testimony is excluded.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Included with Plaintiff's motions in limine was a request to exclude the testimony of Defendant's expert, Dr. David Siegel. Doc. #127. Defendant responded to Plaintiff's request by arguing the motion was untimely. Doc. #129. When issuing its rulings on the parties' motions in limine, the Court found Plaintiff's request to exclude Dr. Siegel's testimony was timely. Doc. #143, at 13-14. To allow Defendant an opportunity to respond to the substance of Plaintiff's request, the Court deferred its ruling on Plaintiff's request and directed Defendant to file a response. Id. Defendant submitted its opposition to Plaintiff's request, and Plaintiff recently filed a reply. Docs. #148-49.

         II. STANDARD

         The admission of expert testimony is governed by Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if: (a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue; (b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and (d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

         Fed. R. Evid. 702. The district court must make a “preliminary assessment of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony is scientifically valid and of whether that reasoning or methodology can be applied to the facts in issue.” Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 592-93 (1993). The Court uses a three-part test when determining the admissibility of expert testimony:

First, evidence based on scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge must be useful to the finder of fact in deciding the ultimate issue of fact. This is the basic rule of relevancy. Second, the proposed witness must be qualified to assist the finder of fact. Third, the proposed evidence must be reliable or trustworthy in an evidentiary sense, so that, if the finder of fact accepts it as true, it provides the assistance the finder of fact requires.

Lauzon v. Senco Prods., Inc., 270 F.3d 681, 686 (8th Cir. 2001) (internal quotations and citations omitted). “Courts should resolve doubts regarding usefulness of an expert's testimony in favor of admissibility.” Marmo v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., 457 F.3d 748, 758 (8th Cir. 2006) (citations omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Dr. Siegel is a “senior executive physician/attorney” who has more than twenty-five years of experience in healthcare, including health system management and consultant roles. Doc. #127-9, at 1. Dr. Siegel was in clinical practice, worked as an emergency department physician, and has served as a clinical professor of medicine, an examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a Chief Medical Officer. Id. at 2. According to his report, Dr. Siegel will testify at trial to the following opinions:

• “[I]t would have been in the best interests of the hospital inpatients, as well as normal medical practice and standard in the industry, for a medical staff member and employed specialist such as Dr. Bamber to provide inpatient consultations as reasonably requested by Prime.”
• “As indicated in the Medical Staff Bylaws and Medical Rules and Regulations, inpatient consultations are ordinary and expected professional services of an active medical staff physician at a hospital…. [P]rofessional medical services and acceptable medical standards require a doctor to go where the hospital inpatient is located. An active medical staff member and employed specialist insisting hospital inpatients travel to a clinic for care is not acting in the best interests of the patient. Prime's requested ...

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