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Chaney Firm verdict upheld on appeal

I argued a case to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in January (here's an earlier report on the argument). We tried the case in January 2012 in federal court in Hot Springs and received a nice verdict for our client. We're pleased that the Eighth Circuit agreed with us and allowed the verdict to stand. The Court's decision is posted here.

One issue on appeal dealt with the routine use of medical visual aids based upon CRMAdigitized x-rays, and proton density MRIs. The defense claimed that the visual aids were misleading and were used as actual evidence, rather than illustrations to help doctors testify about injuries to specific body parts. The Court held that the medical illustrations were not misleading because a doctor testified that they were accurate and helped him teach the jury about complex medical issues.

The other main issue on appeal was a procedural question concerning two professional defense witnesses that were excluded; the defense tried to call these new experts at the last minute because its original expert's theory of degeneration did not hold up under cross-examination. When the trial judge didn't let them call new witnesses, they changed tactics and tried to claim they needed the new experts because they were surprised by what our client's doctors had to say. The trial judge saw through this charade. On appeal, the defense claimed that our client's doctors should have been excluded. The appeals court rejected the surprise argument, as the defense had all the relevant medical records, had received a summary of the anticipated testimony, and never took depositions of the doctors.

We're pleased to have obtained a good result for a deserving client. 

Cite: Bradshaw v. FFE Trans. Servs., Inc., 715 F.3d 1104 (8th Cir. June 3, 2013).