Defense expert not allowed to make it up as he goes
Terri Kronberg sued Dr. Thomas Mathew and his Urology Center, claiming that an improperly-placed suture caused Mouli's bladder suspension surgery to fail. Ms. Kronberg endured significant complications resulting from a suture in the dome of her bladder. The Defendant hired an expert urologist who claimed that the suture had migrated from the outside of the bladder, near the bladder neck, to the inside of the dome or top of the bladder.
Defendant's urologist, Dr. David Johnson, may not have been making it up as he went, but he could provide no medical literature to support his claim of erosion and migration of a suture within a short time period. As a result, the very careful Lenawee County Circuit judge limited Johnson's testimony on this point, and the Court of Appeals upheld that decision. It refused to overturn Ms. Kronberg's $170,000.00 verdict, and also refused to accept the Defendant's claim on appeal that the Plaintiff's expert should not have been allowed to testify about suture erosion. In response to that argument, the court noted that the Defendants' theory was also predicated on well-documented evidence of suture erosion and that Defendants' expert had propounded an even more controversial theory derived from the same phenomenon.