United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Jane Magnus-Stinson, United States District Court Chief Judge
Courtney and Brian Webster filed this lawsuit against the
Center for Diagnostic Imaging, Inc. and CDI Indiana, LLC
(collectively, “Defendants”), alleging
that Ms. Webster's recurrent rectal cancer went
undiagnosed for over a year and a half after her CT scan was
advance of the June 11, 2018 trial in this matter, the
Websters filed three Motions to Exclude Expert Testimony.
Each of these Motions highlights the importance of
cross-examination, and in considering each Motion, the Court
is guided by Justice Stevens' words in United States
Even if one does not completely agree with [John Henry]
Wigmore's assertion that cross-examination is
‘beyond any doubt the greatest legal engine ever
invented for the discovery of truth, ' one must admit
that in the Anglo-American legal system cross-examination is
the principal means of undermining the credibility of a
witness whose testimony is false or inaccurate.
505 U.S. 317, 328 (1992) (Stevens J., dissenting).
pending before the Court are: (1) the Websters' Motion to
Exclude the Testimony of Thomas R. Ireland, Ph.D.,
[Filing No. 80]; (2) the Websters' Motion to
Exclude the Testimony of Anthony J. Senagore, M.D.,
[Filing No. 82]; and (3) the Websters' Motion to
Exclude the Testimony of Neerav Mehta, M.D., [Filing No.
Rule of Evidence 104 instructs that “[t]he court must
decide any preliminary question about whether a witness is
qualified . . . or evidence is admissible.” Fed.R.Evid.
104(a). Federal Rule of Evidence 702 provides that expert
testimony is admissible if: “(a) the expert's
scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will
help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to
determine a fact in issue; (b) the testimony is based on
sufficient facts or data; (c) the testimony is the product of
reliable principles and methods; and (d) the expert has
reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of
the case.” Fed.R.Evid. 702. A trial judge:
must determine at the outset . . . whether the expert is
proposing to testify to (1) scientific knowledge that (2)
will assist the trier of fact to understand or determine a
fact in issue. This entails a preliminary assessment of
whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony
is scientifically valid and of whether that reasoning or
methodology properly can be applied to the facts in
issue…. Many factors will bear on the inquiry . . . .
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509
U.S. 579, 592-93 (1993). Notably, “[t]he principles set
forth in Daubert, which addressed scientific
testimony, apply equally to non-scientific fields.”
Manpower, Inc. v. Ins. Co. of Pennsylvania, 732 F.3d
796, 806 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Kumho Tire Co., Ltd. v.
Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147-49 (1999)).
Court has a “gatekeeping obligation” under Rule
702, and “must engage in a three-step analysis before
admitting expert testimony. It must determine whether the
witness is qualified; whether the expert's methodology is
scientifically reliable; and whether the testimony will
‘assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or
to determine a fact in issue.'” Gopalratnam v.
Hewlett-Packard Co., 877 F.3d 771, 779 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Myers v. Ill. Cent. R.R. Co., 629 F.3d 639,
644 (7th Cir. 2010)). Put another way, the district court
must evaluate: “(1) the proffered expert's
qualifications; (2) the reliability of the expert's
methodology; and (3) the relevance of the expert's
testimony.” Gopalratnam, 877 F.3d at 779.
2009, Courtney Webster underwent treatment for rectal cancer.
[Filing No. 41-1; Filing No. 41-2.] ¶
2010, her medical exams showed no signs of cancer, but she
underwent follow-up colonoscopies periodically over the next
three years, none of which detected cancer. [Filing No.
October 2014, Ms. Webster underwent a colonoscopy, which
revealed a “large mass” and a “flat
polyp.” [Filing No. 41-5 at 1.] Based on these
results, the doctor who performed the colonoscopy recommended
that Ms. Webster schedule a CT scan “at the next
available appointment.” [Filing No. 41-5 at
2.] On November 17, 2014, Ms. Webster underwent a CT
scan, (the “2014 scan”), the results of
which were signed by Dr. Michael Walker the following day.
[Filing No. 41-9; Filing No. 41-11 at 2.]
Dr. Walker made the following conclusions:
1. Abnormal extraluminal soft tissue structure along the
posteromedial aspect of the cecum. This was not present in
2009, I do not have a more recent exam. This is of unclear
etiology, but may represent an implant along the serosal
margin. No. adjacent focus of bowel wall thickening or
infiltration is identified.
2 . No. additional enlarged soft tissue structure or
adenopathy in the peritoneum.
3. Stable nodule adjacent to the right adrenal gland. This
may be an exophytic nodule arising from the lateral limb.
Given it s stability, this is highly likely benign finding.
4. Tiny low-density lesion lower pole left kidney consistent
with a small simple cyst. 3 x 2 mm calculus midportion right
5. The uterus is septate in morphology.
[Filing No. 41-11 at 2.] Dr. Walker's
conclusions did not note a rectal tumor on the images of the
2014 scan. [Filing No. 41-8 at 5; Filing No.
41-11 at 2.]
March, 2016, Ms. Webster again complained of constipation.
[Filing No. 41-14.] A scope performed on April 27,
2016 revealed a tumor, [Filing No. 41-16], and a CT
scan the following week revealed a tumor that had
“increased in size since November 17, 2014.”
[Filing No. 41-17 at 2.]
October 10, 2016, Courtney and Brian Webster filed suit,
arguing that “as a direct and proximate result”
of Defendants' “substandard care, Courtney
Webster's rectal cancer grew and spread, significantly
reducing her chances of surviving the disease, significantly
altering her treatment options, and causing her severe pain,
suffering and emotional distress, ” and depriving Brian
Webster “of his wife's services, love, and
companionship.” [Filing No. 1 at 2.]
April 12, 2018, the Websters filed three Motions to Exclude
Expert Testimony that Defendants intend to introduce at the
June 11, 2018 trial in this matter. [Filing No. 80;
Filing No. 82; Filing No. 84]. Below, the
Court provides a brief summary of each expert's report
and of the parties' arguments related to the report and