It was not an abuse of discretion to permit a trauma surgeon to testify about the nature and severities of a plaintiff’s injuries.
“Banister argues, citing Deimer v. Cincinnati Sub- Zero Products, Inc., 58 F.3d 341, 345 (7th Cir. 1995) (physician is not qualified to testify on matters beyond his ‘requisite experience’), Porter v. Whitehall Laboratories, Inc., 9 F.3d 607, 615 (7th Cir. 1993) (medical opinions cannot be admitted when a physician intends to give opinions unsupported by any method), and Cunningham v. Masterwear Corp., 569 F.3d 673, 674-75 (7th Cir. 2009) (physician may not present opinions simply because he is an ‘experienced physician’), that we have repeatedly rejected the ‘trained as a physician’ argument to justify the admission of a doctor’s opinions on matters that are beyond his (or her) ‘requisite experience.’ While Banister is correct regarding our precedent, he ignores the fact that Dr. Fishman is a trauma surgeon who testified as to the nature and severity of Banister’s injuries at the time he treated him and then applied his knowledge of anatomy, gained through his experience as a trauma surgeon and as a student of medicine, to determine that the gunshot injuries would not have prevented Banister from using his arm to throw an object, or from crawling. Therefore, Deimer, Porter, and Cunningham are distinguishable. The judge did not abuse his discretion in allowing Dr. Fishman to testify about Banister’s ability to throw or crawl after he was shot.”
10-1484 Banister v. Burton
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Darrah, J., Evans, J.