KIMBERLY CULLER, Individually And as Administrator of the Estate of NETTIE CULLER, VERONICA WHITE, and CLARENCE CULLER, Plaintiffs,
BAYHEALTH MEDICAL CENTER, INC., d/b/a MILFORD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Defendant.
Submitted: April 10, 2018
Francis J. Murphy, Esquire, and Lauren A. Cirrinicione,
Esquire, Murphy & Landon, for the Plaintiff.
E. Drnec, Esquire, Lauren C. McConnell, Esquire, and
Katherine J. Sullivan, Esquire, Wharton Levin Ehrmantraut
& Klein, J*.A, for the Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
EASON PRIMOS, JUDGE
the Court are motions in limine filed by Plaintiffs
Kimberly Culler, Veronica White, and Clarence Culler
(hereinafter "Plaintiffs, " collectively), and by
Defendant Bayhealth Medical Center, Inc., d/b/a Milford
Memorial Hospital (hereinafter "Bayhealth" or
"Defendant"). This opinion sets forth the
Court's decision on the motions following oral argument
on April 10, 2018.
are suing Bayhealth for damages resulting from the death of
Decedent Nettie Culler (hereinafter "Decedent").
The facts of the incident causing Decedent's death,
according to Plaintiffs, are as follows:
21, 2014, Decedent was admitted to Milford Memorial Hospital
for gastrointestinal bleeding. At the time, Decedent was
immobile, and agents of Bayhealth were attempting to move her
when they "banged her head against the wall."
Shortly thereafter, Decedent reported headaches and seizures.
Decedent sustained wounds and infections; was intubated,
sedated, and diagnosed with acute respiratory failure due to
neurological process; and became dependent upon a
tracheostomy to breathe. Decedent died approximately six
months later, on January 7, 2015.
result of the above, Plaintiffs have advanced survival and
wrongful death claims. Defendant denies certain of the above
allegations, and denies that an act or omission of Defendant
proximately caused injury to Plaintiffs.
before the Court are the following motions in
limine: (1) Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude
Duplicative Expert Testimony; (2) Defendant's
Daubert Motion to Exclude Testimony of Roger Behar,
MD.; and (3) Defendant's Motion to Exclude Rebuttal
Expert Opinion of Roger Behar, MD.
Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude Duplicative Expert
motion contends that Defendant's experts Dr. Goldszmidt,
Dr. Lineback, and Dr. Spillers are expected to offer
duplicative testimony and that they should be precluded from
doing so. Specifically, Dr. Spiller and Dr. Goldszmidt are
both expected to testify regarding lack of causation, and Dr.
Goldszmidt and Dr. Lineback are both expected to testify
about the use of fosphenytoin in Decedent's treatment.
Plaintiffs complain that Defendant intends to "bombard
the jury with multiple doctors who will testify to the exact
same opinions" and that this should be prohibited
pursuant to Rule 403, due to the limited probative value of
duplicative evidence. Further, Plaintiffs argue that
Defendant' presentation of three experts to rebut the
opinions of Plaintiffs' lone expert is prejudicial, as it
may suggest to the jury that "plaintiffs' expert
must be wrong." According to Plaintiffs, failure to
grant their motion would permit "Defendant to use its
seemingly unlimited resources to deny plaintiffs'
meaningful access to the court and a jury trial."
Plaintiffs offer no case law in support of this assertion,
citing only to case law generally prohibiting duplicative
testimony at trial.
response, Defendant posits that it has no intention of
offering duplicative evidence at trial, and that each defense
expert is a specialist in a ...