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Family did have notice that expert pulmonologist was going to testify as pathologist

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In reviewing a dispute over testimony given by expert witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals sees no reason to hold a new trial.  

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment in Don H. Dumont, M.D. v. Penny Davis and Nicole Anderson as Co-Administratrixes of the Estate of Charmitta Jordan, deceased, 45A05-1207-CT-384. The appeals court found the lower court erred by granting the plaintiffs a new trial.   

Following the death of Charmitta Jordan, her family filed a wrongful death action against Don Dumont, M.D. When the jury returned a verdict for Dumont, the family requested a new trial alleging Dumont’s counsel failed to disclose the identification and opinions of two expert witnesses prior to the disclosure deadline.

In particular, the family contended that Michael Ehrie, M.D., who testified as an expert witness for Dumont, should not have been questioned as a pathologist but only as a pulmonologist.

Dumont argued the family and the court was given advanced notice that his intention was to question Ehrie as a pathologist. Namely, Dumont said he would be asking Ehrie histological opinions and did give the court Ehrie’s curriculum vitae which notes he is a pathologist.

After the family objected to Ehrie’s testimony during the trial, the lower court stopped the questioning of him as a pathologist and struck his testimony, instructing the jury not to consider his opinions as a pathologist.

The court of appeals found the trial court abused its discretion when it excluded Ehrie’s entire testimony as a pathologist.

The COA conceded that although the intention to examine Ehrie was disclosed well beyond the pre-trial order’s deadline, the notice was still made six months before the trial date, giving the family more than enough time to depose the doctor.

Also, the appeals court pointed out that during the pre-trial hearing, the family indicated they suspected Ehrie would be examined outside of his previously disclosed expertise in pulmonology but, still, they did not change their preparations for trial.   

In addition, even if Dumont committed misconduct, that error was corrected when the family objected leading the trial court to exclude the testimony and admonish the jury to disregard Ehrie’s statements.

 
 

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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