Iowa Court of Appeals Affirms District Court’s Preclusion of Treating Doctor’s Opinion

Posted on: May 5th, 2021

Plaintiff Mengwasser’s sued Joseph Comito and Capital City Fruit Company following a 2015 car accident. The jury awarded damages for past pain and suffering and past loss of function, but awarded no damages for future medical expenses, future pain and suffering, future loss of function or future loss of earning capacity. The district court limited the testimony of Plaintiff’s treating physician, Dr. Dierenfield, and Plaintiff appealed.

Plaintiff timely designated all treating doctors as expert witnesses, however, Plaintiff did not serve the opinion report on causation and loss of function by the deadline.

Defendant moved to exclude the doctor’s report and preclude him from testifying about causation and loss of function. Notably, the report was developed nine months after Plaintiff’s treatment had ended. Thus, later produced report addressed subjects that were within the scope of expert testimony.

The district court, granting Defendant’s motion to strike, stated that the doctor’s opinions were not formed during his treatment of Plaintiff and were not revealed by the respective medical records as of Plaintiff’s deadline for making expert disclosures. The district court did not preclude the doctor from testifying about his treatment of Plaintiff, but did preclude his testimony regarding causation and loss of function.

The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision precluding a treating doctor’s opinion and conclusions as to causation and loss of function.

Mengwasser v. Comito, Capital City Fruit Company, No. 19-1983 (Iowa Ct. App. April 14, 2021).

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