Court rules driver in crash with postal worker must amend expert witnesses' disclosure

By Marian Johns | May 8, 2019

TAMPA — A federal court has stricken several expert witnesses and ordered their disclosure amendments pending trial in a case involving a Florida motorist who filed suit after his vehicle collided with a U.S. Postal Service worker.

According to an April 18 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division filing, the United States of America petitioned the court to strike the expert witnesses disclosed as part of plaintiff Thomas Hinson's lawsuit.  

The case stems from claims filed by Hinson after a motor vehicle crash involving him and a postal worker. In his suit, Hinson identified 11 "non-retained medial providers" who were a part of his treatment after the accident and one "retained medical expert."

The United States argues that the testimony disclosed by Hinson's experts "is beyond the scope of their observation, diagnosis and treatment" and that Hinson did not "adequately" summarize his witnesses' facts and opinions of each expert. Hinson then amended and removed four experts and edited five of the non-retained expert's summaries. The U.S. argues that "the disclosures remain deficient" and asked the court to exclude the remaining "non-retained and treating medical experts."

U.S. Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone, ruled that "as treating physicians," Hinson's practitioners listed as witnesses "may be exempt" from Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedures requiring a "written report" but that Hinson was required to disclose each witnesses' subject matter regarding their evidence.  

The court also stated there was "time before trial" for Hinson's amendments of his expert disclosures despite the United States alleging prejudice and impediment of the litigation process. 

The court allowed Hinson time for amendment of the stricken expert disclosures and stated he needed to clarify whether the witnesses' testimony will be "only opinions formed during their treatment" or "based on facts learned outside their treatment relationship" with Hinson.

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