Expert Article Library

Case Name: Maria Yolanda Marcano Rivera v. Turabo Medical Center Partnership

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Court: US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; on appeal from the District Court of Puerto Rico

Date: July 15, 2005

Type of expert: Life care planning. Economic consulting. Frank Woodrich, life-care planner

Issue: Is physician review necessary when estimating costs of future care?

Summary of case: Baby Fabiola was diagnosed with neonatal asphyxia and seizures shortly after birth. The trial found these injuries the result of negligence during the baby’s delivery. As a result Fabiola requires a caregiver for the rest of her life, from never being able to see, walk, or communicate.

Role of the expert: Plaintiff’s expert, a life-care planner, testified regarding the projected costs of Fabiola’s future care.

Expert analysis: Defendant objected that the expert’s testimony was based on unreliable methodology, on the grounds that a physician did not review the projections. The Court determined the expert was well-qualified as an expert on rehabilitation and life-care planning. A physician’s further review of his projections regarding the infant’s future medical needs was not necessary.

Summary prepared by J. Price, Student, University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)