Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Lycoming County Court Precludes Expert Testimony Regarding Future Medical Expenses in MVA Case; Also, Limited Tort Motion Denied



In the case of Swank v. Greenaway, No. 19-CV-1830 (C.P. Lyc. Co. March 15, 2021 Linhardt, J.), the court issued a detailed Order regarding issues raised in Pre-Trial Motions In Limine by a Defendant in a limited tort motor vehicle accident case.

On one issue, the Defendants sought to preclude two of the Plaintiff’s expert witnesses from testifying at trial regarding the estimated cost of future care. The Defendants asserted that these experts based their opinions on insufficient methodology and data that was inherently unreliable. More specifically, the Plaintiff’s experts projected the future costs of the Plaintiff’s medical procedures based solely upon pricing data secured from Fairhealth.org.

The court noted that Fair Health was a non-profit entity that collected data and managed a database of privately billed health insurance claims. The court held that the data at issue could not be the sole basis for an expert opinion on future medical costs given the issues with how Fair Health came to reach its final calculations and data.

As such, the Defendant’s Motion In Limine regarding information secured from Fairhealth.org was granted.

In the Defendant’s second Motion In Limine, the Defendants sought to preclude the Plaintiff from pursuing non-economic damages based upon an argument that the Plaintiff had elected the limited tort option and had not established that a serious injury had been suffered.

The court noted that the Plaintiff alleged that she sustained a herniated disc and shoulder injuries as a result of the accident, which injuries allegedly affected her ability to perform her everyday activities including chores, self-care, hobbies, personal relationship activities, and work activities.

The court denied this Motion and stated that the issues should have raised by way of a Motion for Summary Judgment. In any event, the court found the factual issues led the court to conclude that reasonable minds on a jury could differ on the issue of whether or not the Plaintiff sustained a serious injury. As such, the Defendant’s second Motion In Limine was denied.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.


Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (April 6, 2021).






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