United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
In Re COOK MEDICAL, INC., IVC FILTERS MARKETING, SALES PRACTICES AND PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION This Document Relates to Tonya Brand, 1:14-cv-06018-RLY-TAB
ENTRY ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO LIMIT THE
TESTIMONY OF KENNETH RENKENS, M.D.
RICHARD L. YOUNG, JUDGE
Cook Defendants offer the testimony of Kenneth Renkens, M.D.
Plaintiff does not challenge Dr. Renkens' qualifications.
Instead, she moves to exclude "Dr. Renkens' opinions
regarding any relationship between Plaintiff's filter and
her osteophytes, and what caused her filter to fail."
(Filing No. 9051, Motion at 6). For the reasons explained
below, Plaintiffs motion is DENIED.
Renkens is a board-certified neurosurgeon who focuses his
practice on spinal surgery and is a founding partner and
board member of Indiana Spine Group. (Filing No. 9052-1,
Expert Report of Kenneth Renkens, M.D., at 1). He performs
over 300 spinal surgeries each year and has performed over
200 ALIF procedures, the type of procedure Plaintiff had and
for which she had a filter placed. (Id. at 2, 3;
Filing No. 9201-3, Deposition of Kenneth Renkens, M.D. at
41). He is familiar with both traction and claw-type
osteophytes as well as the vascular structure involved in an
ALIF procedure. (Renkens Dep. at 104-05). In addition, he
regularly reads imaging as part of his neurological practice.
(Id. at 92-93).
Expert Report, Dr. Renkens reviewed Plaintiff's imaging
The [January 15, 2009] axial CT images show that the
osteophyte was in contact with the vena cava, with the vena
cava draping over the osteophyte. This was on the Lumbar CT
done before her March 19, 2009 ALIF surgery and filter
The April 10, 2009 CT scan shows evidence that the filter leg
is at the level of L2-L3, communicating with the osteophyte
present in this same location prior to the ALIF procedure.
(Expert Report at 7). Dr. Renkens also performed a
differential diagnosis, considering all potential causes of
Plaintiff s neck and back pain. He ruled in Plaintiffs
degenerative disc disease and osteophytes as a cause for her
existing neck and back pain and ruled out the two filter
fragments from her IVC filter remaining at the L2-L3 level
and right psoas as the cause of the pain. (Id. at
8). He opined that "[t]here is no correlation between
the locations of the two fragments [of her filter] and her
complaints of pain." (Id.).
moves to exclude Dr. Renkens' testimony related to the
relationship between the location of Plaintiff's IVC
filter and her spinal anatomy-i.e., that the filter leg is in
the same location as her osteophytes. Plaintiff argues this
testimony "only has relevance if the jury is asked to
infer the next step - that the filter got 'caught up'
on Plaintiffs osteophyte before it
perforated her IVC." (Filing No. 9051, Motion at 4)
(emphasis in original). In other words, Plaintiff fears the
jury will infer that "it was Plaintiffs anatomy that
caused the filter to perforate" and not a defect in the
design of the filter. (Id.).
deposition, Dr. Renkens testified that Plaintiff's CT
images showed that a leg of the "filter could have got
caught up on the osteophyte [at L2-L3]." (Renken Dep. at
55; see also Id. at 56 (testifying "a leg of
the filter ended up in her L2-3 osteophytes");
id. at 57 ("Q: And that - your opinion is that
it got caught on that osteophyte? A. Yes.");
id. at 69 (testifying the filter leg "was
touching the osteophyte at the level of L2-3, yes")). He
explained, "[Plaintiff] had more prominent osteophytes
at ¶ 2-3, so that those were the most prominent
osteophytes, bone spurs, that were present. And it just
happened to be where the vena cava was located, and it just
happened to be where the legs of the filter ended up in her
postop imaging studies." (Id. at 55). Dr.
Renkens made clear that he was not offering an
opinion on whether the filter perforated before it touched
the osteophyte. (Id. at 57). And he was not
offering an opinion on what caused the filter to break.
Id. at 56, 59; see also Id. at 58
(testifying he was not offering an opinion on whether the
filter fractured before it perforated the IVC). Instead, he
was giving "an anatomical description of where the
filter ended up." (Id.). Plaintiff's fear
that the jury may infer that "it was the osteophyte-not
a defect in the filter-that caused the filter to fail"
is not a reason to exclude a qualified and relevant expert
opinion. Plaintiff's Motion to Limit the Testimony of
Kenneth Renkens, M.D. (Filing No. 9050) is therefore