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Norman v. All About Women, P.A.

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

November 16, 2017

AMANDA M. NORMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
ALL ABOUT WOMEN, P.A., a Delaware corporation and CHRISTINE W. MAYNARD, M.D., individually, Defendant.

          Submitted: September 22, 2017

         Upon Defendants' Motion in Limine to Exclude the Expert Testimony of Jeffrey Soffer, M.D. Granted.

          William D. Fletcher, Jr., Esquire of Schmittinger & Rodriguez, P.A., Dover, Delaware; attorney for Plaintiff.

          Lauren C. McConnell, Esquire of Wharton Levin Ehrmantraut & Klein, P.A., Wilmington, Delaware; attorney for Defendants.

          ORDER

          WILLIAM L. WITHAM. JR. RESIDENT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is the Defendants', All About Women, P.A., and Christine W. Maynard, M.D., Motion in Limine to exclude the expert testimony of Jeffrey Soffer, M.D. The Defendants' Motion is hereby GRANTED.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This is an action for alleged medical negligence involving a diagnostic laparoscopy, that Dr. Maynard performed on October 22, 2013, at Christiana Hospital. Plaintiff claims that Dr. Maynard perforated her bladder and then failed to recognize the injury before completing the procedure, necessitating a second exploratory surgery, unnecessary hospitalization and other damages.

         On February 7, 2017, the Defendants filed five motions in limine seeking to: (1) exclude evidence, argument, and testimony of Defendants' write-off and payment of medical expenses; (2) limit the testimony of Kenneth Woo, M.D.; (3) exclude postoperative statements of apology; (4) exclude evidence related to pregnancy and unsupported injuries; and (5) exclude testimony of Jeffrey Soffer, M.D. on the standard of care.

         On September 22, 2017, the Court held oral argument on the five motions. The Court issued a bench decision regarding the first four motions, but reserved decision regarding the exclusion of Dr. Soffer's testimony. This constitutes the Court's decision on that matter.

         DISCUSSION

         The Defendants seek to exclude expert testimony by Dr. Jeffrey Soffer as lacking foundation because it is based "solely on the fact that an injury to Mrs. Norman's bladder occurred." The Defendants argue that Dr. Soffer did not articulate what was required to comply with the standard of care or how Dr. Maynard's actions failed to comply with the standard of care. The Defendants contend that, under Daubert, Dr. Soffer was unable to "provide any explanation as to how he reached his standard of care opinions." In addition, the Defendants argue, "[a]ccepting Dr. Soffer's opinion would render every trocar or thermal injury in a diagnostic laparoscopy Per se negligence, a conclusion unsupported by logic or statute."

         Ms. Norman points to the liberal standard created in D.R.E. 702 and contends that the Defendants' motion in limine is duplicative of their summary-judgment motion.[1] Ms. Norman interprets Dr. Soffer's testimony as opining that "when a medical professional exercising [the] reasonable care and diligence" required under 18 Del. C. ยง 6801(7), "injury should not occur." Ms. Norman further argues that Dr. ...


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