When you’ve been injured and have filed a personal injury lawsuit, the defense's insurance company will hire a doctor to provide an “expert medical opinion” about your injuries. This doctor may never examine your or even see your medical records, but might still provide an “expert opinion” about your injuries. This opinion will be used by the insurance company to minimize your claims.
Sometimes, you’ll see a legitimate doctor who will provide a factual opinion based on an in-person examination of your injuries. But, sometimes, the insurance company will hire a doctor to give expert testimony without ever seeing you or your medical records.
If you have a good lawyer, he or she can get the so-called expert testimony struck from the case. Vuk did just that in one of our 18-wheeler cases. This case went to trial in Harris Country before the Honorable Sylvia Matthews.1
In this case, Dr. J. Martin Barrash, a Houston neurosurgeon, was hired by the insurance company to give expert testimony about our client’s injuries. Dr. Barrash wrote an expert report in which he minimized our client’s injury claims even though he had never seen our client or any of the MRI and x-ray films.
What is even more interesting is that Dr. Barrash has been censured by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons on April 12, 2011 for doing the same thing. The censure, which is publicly available on the internet, reads as follows:
“Dr. J. Martin Barrash, following an appeal to the AANS General Membership on April 11, 2011, has been censured for giving expert testimony without having seen the imaging studies relevant to that testimony, and for failure to provide unbiased testimony during part of a deposition in a civil suit.”
On re-direct, Dr. Barrash testified about the medical case that forms the basis of his Censure. He said it was a situation arising out of a case in Waco, Texas.
The AANS is the preeminent medical organization for neurosurgeons in the United States. Dr. Barrash has been a member of AANS for over 30 years. According to his resume, he has attended AANS functions since 1970.
At our trial, Dr. Barrash testified that numerous neurosurgeons of the AANS censure committee decided that he should be censured. Dr. Barrash further testified that he appealed his censure, but the committee denied his appeal.
Based on Dr. Barrash’s testimony, it appears that neurosurgeons on this committee are all highly esteemed and nationally recognized neurosurgeons. On April 2, 2013, Dr. Barrash called our office and asked us to correct this article. He wanted it noted that the committee that denied his appeal was really a “kangaroo court” because the majority of the members were former AANS board members.
In our trial, Dr. Barrash testified that he “is right” and the AANS “is wrong.”
Dr. Barrash testified that after his censure was finalized, he left the AANS.
Dr. Barrash testified that after he left the AANS, he sued the organization on RICO charges. This racketeering case is pending in Chicago, according to Dr. Barrash. He did not clarify the basis for these charges.
In our case, we were able to use his censure to discredit his testimony. To find out more about this trial and Dr. Barrash’s testimony, call us at 877.724.7800.
You can click here to download the entire trial transcript immediately.
1Cause No. 2010-14519, in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 281st Judicial District, Gerardo A. Juarez vs. Canal Cartage Company and Jose Aparicio.