Experts Shmexperts

CPLR § 3101(d)

Rost v Stolzman, 81 AD3d 1401 (App. Div. 4th 2011) 

We note that, in reaching our determination, we have disregarded the affidavit of the accident reconstruction expert submitted in support of the motion inasmuch as the conclusions asserted therein "are speculative or unsupported by any evidentiary foundation" (Diaz v New York Downtown Hosp., 99 NY2d 542, 544 [2002]; see Ciccarelli v Cotira, Inc., 24 AD3d 1276 [2005]). Even assuming, arguendo, that the affidavit was supported by an evidentiary foundation, we conclude that the court properly denied the motion because there is a triable issue of fact whether Martino drove in a lawful and prudent manner immediately before the accident (see Bulls, 71 AD3d at 1409; Fratangelo, 294 AD2d 880; see generally Derdiarian v Felix Contr. Corp., 51 NY2d 308, 315 [1980], rearg denied 52 NY2d 784, 829 [1980]).

Jean-Louis v City of New York, 2011 NY Slip Op 06094 (2nd Dept., 2011)

The Supreme Court properly denied the NYCTA's motion to preclude the testimony of the plaintiff's expert. Generally, the admission of expert testimony is a matter that lies within the sound discretion of the trial court (see Berger v Tarry Fuel Oil Co., 32 AD3d 409, 409). Here, the plaintiff's expert helped clarify the issue of whether the I-beams constituted a dangerous condition, which called "for professional or technical knowledge, possessed by the expert and beyond the ken of the typical juror" (De Long v County of Erie, 60 NY2d 296, 307).

Sushchenko v Dyker Emergency Physicians Serv., P.C., 2011 NY Slip Op 06101 (2nd Dept., 2011)

The trial court providently exercised its discretion in precluding the plaintiffs' expert witness from testifying regarding causation on the ground that proper CPLR 3101(d) disclosure was not provided (see Schwartzberg v Kingsbridge Hgts. Care Ctr., 28 AD3d 463, 464; Hubbard v Platzer, 260 AD2d 605; Rassaei v Kessler, 252 AD2d 577; cf. McGlauflin v Wadhwa, 265 AD2d 534. Proper disclosure of an expert neurologist who was to testify on the subject of causation was not provided to the respondents until several days after the trial had commenced (see Schwartzberg v Kingsbridge Hgts. Care Ctr., 28 AD3d at 464-465; Hubbard v Platzer, 260 AD2d at 605; Rassaei v Kessler, 252 AD2d at 577). The plaintiffs failed to show good cause for this untimely disclosure (see Quinn v Artcraft Constr., 203 AD2d 444, 445; Corning v Carlin, 178 AD2d 576, 577).

Expert testimony is necessary to prove a deviation from the accepted standard of medical care and to establish proximate cause where, as here, the matter is not within the experience of the ordinary juror (see Lyons v McCauley, 252 AD2d 516, 517). When the testimony of a necessary expert witness is precluded, and it is therefore impossible to make out a prima facie case, it is proper to dismiss the complaint (see Bickford v St. Francis Hosp., 19 AD3d 344, 346; Rossi v Matkovic, 227 AD2d 609; Kalkan v Nyack Hosp., 214 AD2d 538, 539). The complaint was, therefore, properly dismissed insofar as asserted against the respondents pursuant to CPLR 4401 (see Szczerbiak v Pilat, 90 NY2d 553, 556; Godlewska v Niznikiewicz, 8 AD3d 430, 431; Smith v Vosburgh, 176 AD2d 259).

Sparks v Detterline, 2011 NY Slip Op 06025 (2nd Dept., 2011)

The defendants failed to meet their prima facie burden of showing that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury within the meaning of Insurance Law § 5102(d) as a result of the subject accident (see Toure v Avis Rent A Car Sys., 98 NY2d 345; Gaddy v Eyler, 79 NY2d 955, 956-957; Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324; Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 852; Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 559). The conclusion set forth in the affirmed report of the defendant's examining physician, Dr. Jeffrey S. Oppenheim, that the plaintiffs' complaints were subjective in nature and that she had "no objective identifiable neurological deficit, and therefore, no objective neurological disability," was conclusory, speculative, and insufficient to establish the defendants' prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, as Dr. Oppenheim conducted no objective range-of-motion testing (see Borras v Lewis, 79 AD3d 1084; Powell v Prego, 59 AD3d 417, 418-419; cf. Conder v City of New York, 62 AD3d 743. Further, Dr. Oppenheim's assertion that the plaintiff, during his examination of her, was "essentially unable" to move her neck in any direction "in any significant way that would allow for a definition of range of motion testing" suggests that any limitation was not insignificant (cf. Kharzis v PV Holding Corp., 78 AD3d 1122; Kjono v Fenning, 69 AD3d 581). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

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