Court Prevents Expert’s Testimony Regarding Necessity of Medical Bills Based on Plaintiff’s Late-Filed Notice

Earlier this month, an appellate court in Nebraska issued a written opinion in a personal injury lawsuit that illustrates the importance of choosing a diligent and knowledgeable Maryland personal injury attorney. The case involved the parties’ disagreement over whether certain expert testimony presented by the plaintiff should be considered by the jury. Ultimately, the court concluded that the lower court was proper when it precluded the testimony based on the plaintiff’s failure to disclose the substance of the expert’s testimony during discovery.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a car accident involving the daughter of the defendants. Forty months after the accident, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants. In response, the defendants did not dispute that their daughter was negligent in causing the accident, but they argued that the accident was not the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

The plaintiff was slow to prosecute the case, taking several continuances and missing several deadlines. At least some of the delay was due to health issues the plaintiff’s attorney was confronting during the pendency of the case. Ultimately, the plaintiff retained new counsel, who also had to withdraw due to medical reasons.

The plaintiff’s new counsel, realizing that the parties had not agreed upon the fairness and reasonableness of the plaintiff’s medical expenses, asked the court to reopen discovery to allow for an expert to lay a foundation for the plaintiff’s medical expenses. Due to the length of time the case had been going on, and the several continuances the plaintiff had already requested, the court denied the plaintiff’s request. The jury ultimately returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff appealed the lower court’s decision refusing to allow his expert’s testimony.

On appeal, the lower court’s decision was affirmed. The court noted that the efficient handling of cases was a major interest for the court and that it had broad authority to exercise judgment in the handling of its docket. This authority included preventing parties from reopening discovery in cases that had been pending for long periods of time. Here, the facts were undisputed that the plaintiff’s case had been open for 18 months longer than 98% of all civil jury cases. As a result, the lower court was within its authority to preclude the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony.

Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. As the above discussion illustrates, Maryland personal injury cases must proceed in a timely manner, or you risk dismissal for a variety of procedural reasons. The dedicated Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers has extensive experience handling all types of personal injury matters, and we have a firm understanding of the relevant statutes of limitations and procedural rules governing our clients’ cases. We make sure that our clients’ cases are brought in a timely and efficient manner. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Court Permits Car Accident Case to Proceed Against Company in Charge of Maintaining Back-Up Battery System in Traffic Lights, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published November 9, 2017.

Fireman’s Rule Prevents On-Duty Police Officer from Recovering Compensation After Car Accident, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 24, 2017.

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