Motor Vehicle Accident: Harris v. Campbell (N.Y. App. Div., 4th Dept.)

December 31, 2017

by Aaron M. Adoff, Esq.


In Harris, plaintiff commenced suit seeking damages for injuries sustained when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle owned and operated by defendant.  At trial, the Supreme Court, Erie County, limited the testimony of one of plaintiff’s treating physicians.  While the physician testified he also had a Ph.D. in biomechanical engineering and that he often relies on his engineering background in his medical practice, no expert disclosure had been provided.  A jury then returned a verdict in favor of defendant, and the Supreme Court, Erie County, entered a judgment dismissing the complaint.  Plaintiff appealed.


The Fourth Department affirmed, holding the Supreme Court had properly sustained defendant’s objections to a line of questioning pertaining to biomechanics (i.e., regarding the amount of force needed to cause a lumbar injury), inasmuch as defendant had not received notice that the treating physician relied on his engineering background to support his opinions and conclusions about plaintiff’s injuries.