Thursday, May 12, 2016

Judge Nealon of Lackawanna County Allows For Expert Opinion Testimony Regarding Alleged Pain and Suffering in Stillbirth Med Mal Action

In the case of Page v. Moses Taylor Hospital, No. 11 CV 1402 (C.P. Lacka. Co. May 6, 2016 Nealon, J.), Judge Terrence R. Nealon of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas denied a defense motion in limine raising Frye issues pertaining to the Plaintiff's proposed expert testimony by an expert in neonatal and perinatal medicine.

This medical malpractice action arises out of the stillbirth of twins at 33.4 gestational age.  The court ruled that the Plaintiff's expert in neonatal and perinatal medicine would be permitted to testify that the stillborn twins experienced pain and suffering from the effects of asphyxia attributable to their mother's eclamptic seizure and placental abruption.

Judge Nealon noted that the Plaintiff had produced medical research and articles, including some articles from the New England Journal of Medicine, that supported the proffered testimony and, as such, the court found that the Plaintiff's proposed evidence was acceptable under the Frye standard in that there was no basis to preclude this opinion testimony as novel scientific evidence that has not gained general acceptance in the medical field.  Accordingly, the court ruled that a Frye hearing was not warranted on the matter.

The court noted that the evidence on this issue submitted by both sides would be allowed at trial and  would be left for the jury to weigh as conflicting expert testimony.

Anyone wishing to review this decision in Page may click this LINK.

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