Using biomechanical testimony effectively to combat the soft tissue injury cases
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Using Biomechanical Testimony Effectively to Combat the Soft Tissue Injury Cases. MaryJane Dobbs, Marcus, Brody, Ford, Kessler & Sahner, L.L.C. Roseland, New Jersey June J. Essis, Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, PC , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Using biomechanical testimony effectively to combat the soft tissue injury cases l.jpg

Using Biomechanical Testimony Effectively to Combat the Soft Tissue Injury Cases

MaryJane Dobbs, Marcus, Brody, Ford, Kessler & Sahner, L.L.C.

Roseland, New Jersey

June J. Essis, Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, PC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bradley W. Probst, MSBME, ARCCA Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


The good news l.jpg
The Good News Tissue Injury Cases

By June J. Essis


What do biomechanical engineers do l.jpg
WHAT DO BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERS DO Tissue Injury Cases

  • Apply engineering principles, the principles of mechanics, to biological systems, i.e., the human body, with the specific facts of an accident

  • Provide information about forces generated in the accident


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LOW IMPACT CASES Tissue Injury Cases

Testimony has been admitted to establish that the forces generated by the accident were not sufficient to cause the injury alleged.


Testimony is admitted when l.jpg
TESTIMONY IS ADMITTED WHEN . . . Tissue Injury Cases

  • Expert is qualified

  • Expert has experience and training

  • Testimony is relevant and reliable

  • Material generally accepted in scientific community

    Valentine v. Grossman, 283 A.D.2d 571, 724 N.Y.S.2d 504 (2001)


Qualified to give testimony if l.jpg
QUALIFIED TO GIVE Tissue Injury CasesTESTIMONY IF …

  • Education

  • Experience and training

  • Reviewed facts of the case

    • Pleadings

    • Written discovery responses/depositions

    • Photographs

    • Accident report

    • Medical records

      Ma’ele v. Arrington, 45 P.3d 557 (Wash. Ct. App. 2002)


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RELIABILITY IS Tissue Injury CasesESTABLISHED BY . . .

  • Setting forth the methodology

  • Explaining the calculations

  • Relying on factual events as reported by plaintiff

  • Reviewing medical articles

  • Utilizing studies/tests that were conducted by the expert or scientific community

    Baerwald v. Flores, 930 P.2d 816 (N.M. Ct. App. 1997), certiorari denied, 122 N.M. 589 (1997)


Mechanical engineer medical doctor and or accident reconstructionist l.jpg
MECHANICAL ENGINEER, MEDICAL DOCTOR AND/OR ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTIONIST

Can testify if he/she has:

  • Education

  • Experience and/or

  • Training

    in Biomechanics


Qualified expert l.jpg
QUALIFIED EXPERT… RECONSTRUCTIONIST

Can testify about:

  • Forces involved in the accident

  • Impact forces have on the human body

    Cannot testify about:

  • Plaintiff’s specific claimed injuries


Maybaum v rakita 2002 ohio 5338 ohio ct app 2002 l.jpg
Maybaum v. Rakita RECONSTRUCTIONIST, 2002 Ohio 5338 (Ohio Ct. App. 2002)


Mitchell v glimm 819 so 2d 548 miss ct app 2002 l.jpg
Mitchell v. Glimm RECONSTRUCTIONIST, 819 So.2d 548 (Miss. Ct. App. 2002)


Wilson v rivers 593 s e 2d 603 s c 2004 l.jpg
Wilson v. Rivers RECONSTRUCTIONIST, 593 S.E.2d 603 (S.C. 2004)


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STANDARDS FOR THE ADMISSIBILITY RECONSTRUCTIONIST

No different than the standards for the admissibility of any other expert testimony


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IN DETERMINING ADMISSIBILITY, COURTS FOCUS ON . . . RECONSTRUCTIONIST

1) The credentials of the expert

2) Whether expert relied on education, experience, training and experiments to arrive at the opinion

3) Whether the testimony is reliable and relevant

4) Whether the methodology generally accepted in the scientific community

5) How the expert arrived at the calculations

6) The material and/or literature utilized

7) Whether the expert reviewed the case material


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