Goodell DeVries attorneys Kelly Hughes Iverson, Michael J. Wasicko, and Sean Gugerty successfully obtained a jury verdict for an OB/GYN physician and his practice group in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The plaintiff alleged that the child’s neonatal brachial plexus palsy had been caused by excessive clinician traction and sought in excess of $2 million in damages. Echoing a recent trend across the country, the plaintiff had attempted to exclude defense testimony about the maternal forces of labor, including testimony from the defendant’s expert in biomedical engineering and certain literature about the effects of maternal forces. Following an evidentiary Daubert hearing, at which the biomedical engineer testified and a library of medical literature about neonatal brachial plexus palsy was presented to the court, the defense team defeated the plaintiff’s attempt, presented the literature to a jury, and introduced the testimony of the biomedical engineer, a neurosurgeon, and two expert OB/GYNs describing the maternal forces of labor. Brant Poling of Poling Law, LLC joined the trial team as co-counsel.
Pre-trial, the defense team filed an economic Daubert motion to exclude the testimony of plaintiff’s economist, who had opined that the child had sustained a roughly $500,000 loss of earning capacity. At the evidentiary Daubert hearing, the Goodell DeVries lawyers presented the testimony of an economist who highlighted the methodological flaws in the plaintiff’s expert testimony. The federal trial court found the plaintiff’s economist lacked a basis to conclude that the child had the earnings loss claimed and excluded the conclusory opinion testimony. Firm partner Derek M. Stikeleather participated in the Daubert briefing.