Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kelley v. Apria Healthcare, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville

December 27, 2016

KENNETH KELLEY, as the son, next of kin and heir at law of JIMMY L. KELLEY, deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
APRIA HEALTHCARE, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

         This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.

         Now before the Court is the Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude Defendant's Expert Witnesses and/or Motion in Limine Regarding Expert Testimony [Doc. 280]. The parties appeared before the Court on December 21, 2016, for a motion hearing. Attorney Dan Stanley appeared on behalf of the Plaintiff. Attorneys Nathan Mauer and James Looper, Jr., appeared on behalf of the Defendant. After considering the parties' filings and the oral arguments, the Court finds that the Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude Defendant's Expert Witnesses and/or Motion in Limine Regarding Expert Testimony [Doc. 280] is not well-taken, and it is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The original Complaint in this case was filed on February 20, 2013, and later amended [Doc. 182] on August 17, 2015. The Fourth Amended Complaint stems from an incident occurring on February 21, 2012, wherein a fire erupted in a traveling camper killing the occupant. The decedent's son originally brought suit against several companies that manufactured and sold certain devices, including oxygen regulators, that the decedent was allegedly using. The Fourth Amended Complaint alleges that the Defendant provided several of the devices to the decedent but failed to instruct him on how to properly use such devices. In addition, the Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant's oxygen devices leaked oxygen.

         Relevant to the instant action, the Plaintiff has moved to exclude the Defendant's experts.

         II. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES

         As mentioned above, the Plaintiff has moved to exclude two witnesses offered by the Defendant: (1) Joseph T. Hannan, M.D., and (2) Jerry Carter. The Court will first summarize the parties' positions with respect to Dr. Hannan's opinion and then turn to the parties' positions with respect to Mr. Carter's opinions.

         (a) Dr. Hannan

         Dr. Hannan opined that the decedent experienced a significantly diminished quality of life and that due to his medical conditions, the decedent was at or nearing the end of his life and would have died within, at best, a year to eighteen (18) months had he not died in this incident. The Plaintiff argues that Dr. Hannan is not qualified to give an opinion as to the decedent's life expectancy and that his opinions are not based on any scientific basis or facts and are mere conjecture. With respect to Dr. Hannan's opinion on the decedent's life expectancy, the Plaintiff states that Dr. Hannan is a medical doctor but not a pulmonologist, pathologist, or a forensic pathologist and does not have expertise in such fields. The Plaintiff acknowledges that Dr. Hannan has experience in hospice care but submits that the decedent was not a hospice patient. The Plaintiff avers that an expert in internal medicine, geriatrics, or hospice care should not be qualified to opine on life expectancy. The Plaintiff states that any prediction as to a specific life expectancy for a person would be conjecture.

         In addition, the Plaintiff argues that Dr. Hannan was unable to provide any type of scientific or other reliable basis for his opinions. The Plaintiff states that when asked about his opinion, Dr. Hannan seemed to rely upon his review of the medical records regarding the decedent's lung capacity. The Plaintiff submits that Dr. Hannan acknowledged that his prediction was not based on any modeling, case studies, or peer-reviewed methods that would allow him to quantify the eighteen-month life expectancy.

         With respect to Dr. Hannan's opinion regarding the decedent's diminished life quality, the Plaintiff submits that the opinion is not helpful to the jury. The Plaintiff states that the medical records speak for themselves. In the alternative, the Plaintiff requests that Dr. Hannan be prevented from testifying as to the decedent's life expectancy.

         The Defendant responds that Dr. Hannan has been practicing medicine since 1978 and was formerly board certified as an Internist. The Defendant submits that Dr. Hannan has practiced in pediatrics, internal medicine, geriatrics, and hospice care for over 40 years and that he has served as a medical director for numerous long-term care and hospice facilities. The Defendant argues that Dr. Hannan has significant experience in taking care of individuals with terminal illnesses, including patients with long-term diseases, such as COPD and patients receiving oxygen. The Defendant states that Dr. Hannan is qualified to reach a prognosis regarding the decedent's illness at the time of his death and his remaining life expectancy. The Defendant argues that Dr. Hannan's method in forming a prognosis was based on his review of the decedent's medical history and condition prior to the time of his death and his understanding of and experience in treating patients with similar diseases, in similar stages.

         (b) Jerry Carter

         The Plaintiff submits that Mr. Carter is a qualified fire investigator, who opined that the cause of fire could not be determined because none of the potential causes could be indicated or eliminated. The Plaintiff states that Mr. Carter listed seven potential causes of the fire, but there is no evidence to support any of these potential causes, except the presence of a space heater. The Plaintiff states that five of the seven listed potential causes involve the failure of some device or the camper's electrical system, but there is no evidence in this case that anything failed. In addition, the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.