Deposition Skill Upends Expert Witness

Gass Turek attorney Linda Vogt Meagher’s adroit management of an expert witness during his deposition resulted in admissions that led to summary judgment for Linda’s client. Linda successfully defended the million-dollar dental malpractice action, with medical expenses exceeding $500,000, and no caps on pain and suffering damages. A 66-year-old woman underwent a significant dental procedure after receiving an annual injection of Reclast IV, a bisphosphonate prescribed for osteoporosis, for several years. The medication’s labeling warned against invasive dental procedures while taking it. Months after the defendant dentist extracted the plaintiff’s teeth and placed dentures, the plaintiff was diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw, which required surgery to remove half of her jaw. Despite reconstructive surgery, she was unable to eat via mouth and remained disfigured. The plaintiff’s lawsuit contended that the dental work caused the osteonecrosis. The dentist denied that claim and argued that the plaintiff’s pre-existing tooth infection, along with the use of bisphosphonate, caused the debilitating condition. At his deposition, the plaintiff’s dental expert conceded that he was unaware of the pre-existing infection and was not knowledgeable about causation issues. Linda’s skill in eliciting that information led to a successful motion for summary judgment on causation.

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