Expert Article Library

Case Name: Robinson v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co. (Click here for the full text of the case)

Court: 8th Circuit Court of Appeals

Date: May 19, 2006

Expert: Neurologist . Dr. Simon Horenstein

Issue: Whether Dr. Horenstein, a neurologist, testified outside of his expertise and thus was not a "qualified" expert within the meaning of Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence?

Summary of case: Plaintiff sued insurance company for rotator cuff contusion that occurred after a car accident. The examining doctor also found a pre-existing Type II acromion with bone spur. The condition eventually needed surgery.

Role of the expert: Dr. Simon Horenstein testified that plaintiff’s symptoms were caused by the plaintiff’s pre-existing condition.

Challenges to the Expert's testimony: Plaintiff alleges that the defense expert’s testimony was outside his area of expertise. However, a defense medical expert does not need to be of the same specialty type as the plaintiffs medical expert. Here, Dr. Horenstein’s testimony was in fact within his area of expertise. The Court of Appeals held that the District Court properly admitted Dr. Simon Horenstein’s expert testimony.

Summary prepared by M. Lanzone, Student, University of California, Hastings College of Law