Thursday, January 29, 2004

7th Circuit on Disclosure of Expert Testimony from Treating Physicians, Nurses

The Seventh Circuit has upheld the exclusion of expert testimony from treating physicians and nurses as a discovery sanction in a medical malpractice case. Under the discovery rules, parties are not required to provide reports from treating health care professionals. But if treating health care professionals will offer expert testimony, their identities must be disclosed, and they must be designated as experts. The Rule 26 disclosures from the plaintiff in the Seventh Circuit case did list the treating physicians and various nurses as witnesses, but not as expert witnesses. The Seventh Circuit upheld the exclusion of their deposition testimony on summary judgment as a Rule 37 sanction. See Musser v. Gentiva Health Servs., No. 03-1312 (7th Cir. Jan. 28, 2004) (Posner, Kanne, & Rovner, JJ.) (see the briefs).
Fed. R. Evid. 702: If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.