KENNETH M. FLOWERS as Administrator of the Estate of CHRISTINE FLOWERS, Deceased; KENNETH M. FLOWERS, Individually; KAREN FLOWERS; LAWRENCE FLOWERS and ANTHONY MIMMS, Plaintiffs,
CHRISTIANA CARE HEALTH SYSTEM, INPATIENT CONSULTANTS OF DELAWARE, INC. and ANURADHA AMARA, M.D., Defendants.
Submitted: October 22, 2018
Consideration of Defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude
the Opinion of Plaintiffs' Economic Expert.
Michael B. Galbraith, Esquire. Law Office of A. Dale Bowers,
P.A., Attorney for Plaintiffs.
Igwe, Esquire. The Igwe Firm, Admitted Pro Hac Vice Attorney
H. Meyeroff, Esquire & Richard Galperin, Esquire. Morris
James LLP., Attorneys for Defendants IPC Healthcare and Dr.
Pursuant to Rule 702 of the Delaware Rules of Evidence,
Defendant challenges the admissibility of Plaintiffs'
Expert's Economic Loss Report. Defendant argues that the
expert's report is not based on a proper foundation,
having included only Mrs. Flowers Social Security income.
Defendants state the report is factually flawed, neglecting
income from her late husband's pension, and failing to
account for any personal expenditures. Plaintiffs response is
the expert's report was created with a sufficient basis
of fact, and the admissibility of the testimony is better
reserved for trial.
purpose of the Actions for Wrongful Death Statute is to
permit recovery of damages, not limited to pecuniary
losses. However, recovery in an Action for
Wrongful Death include, inter alia, deprivation of
the expectation of pecuniary benefits that would have
resulted from the continued life of the
deceased. Pecuniary loss includes "damages for
sums of money that the deceased would have contributed to the
plaintiff for support had the decedent lived and the amount
by which the value of Decedent's estate diminished as a
result of death."
Although there is inherent uncertainty as to a
Plaintiff's damages, when an expert is called to provide
testimony as to future income, it is still required that
there "be some reasonable basis upon which a jury may
estimate with a fair degree of certainty the probable loss
which plaintiff will sustain in order to enable it to make an
intelligent determination of the extent of this
While the factual basis of an expert's opinion generally
goes to the weight of the testimony, "when the
expert's opinion is not based upon an understanding of
the fundamental facts of the case, […] it can provide
no assistance to the jury and such testimony must be
Plaintiffs' expert's report only considers the
estate's loss of Mrs. Flowers' Social Security
income. The economic loss report does not consider pension
benefits Mrs. Flowers was receiving on behalf of her late
husband, and makes no accounting for Mrs. Flowers personal
Without these facts it is impossible to determine what, if
any, economic loss Plaintiffs have suffered from the
unfortunate passing of Mrs. Flowers. The expert's
economic loss report, and anticipated testimony are
insufficient and will not assist the jury to understand the
evidence or to determine a fact in issue.
forgoing reasons, Defendant's Motion in Limine to Exclude
the Opinion of Plaintiffs' Economic Expert is