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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Court denies several motions regarding testimony in suit over MRI equipment at Metairie medical center


By Chandra Lye | Jan 22, 2019

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NEW ORLEANS -- The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently denied motions to keep several expert witnesses from testifying in a lawsuit claiming Philips Healthcare faulty MRI equipment was installed at a medical center in Metairie.

In a Jan. 2 filing,  U.S. District Judge Barry Ashe denied motions to bar testimony from several witnesses in the lawsuit filed by NAZ LLC. and Advanced Neurodiagnostic Center in Metairie against Philips Healthcare. Ashe also denied several motions for summary judgment requested by Philips Healthcare. 

“There are genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the parties entered into any contracts and what the terms of those contracts are,”  Ashe wrote in the filing

In the suit, NAZ and Advanced Neurodiagnostic Center cited “the manufacturer’s allegedly faulty installation and service of the MRI equipment, as well as its failure to provide the purchaser with the 'complete package,' including the hardware and software components that should have been delivered when the MRI equipment was installed.” 

In his ruling, Ashe denied Philips' motions for summary judgment as well as motions to prevent testimony from several plaintiff witnesses, including that of purported medical physics and MRI safety expert Tianliang Gu.  

“Philips argues that Gu’s opinions are unreliable because his statements regarding the slow movement of the magnet, the propriety of the quenching, Philips’ alleged failure to inspect the vent after quenching, the site planning, and the five gauss line are not supported by data, verifiable calculations, or peer-reviewed studies,” the court decision stated. 

However, the court noted that he would have an opportunity to bring his concerns before the court at a later date.

“To the extent Philips questions the content of and support for Gu’s report, and his lack of independent calculations, Philips will have an opportunity to explore these issues through cross-examination of Gu and the presentation of countervailing testimony,” according to the court decision. 

While the court denied several other similar motions, it granted Philips' motion regarding the plaintiff’s expert in FDA regulations, Donald Marks, “Because Marks is not qualified to offer opinions regarding FDA regulations applicable to MRI installation, offers inapplicable or potentially inaccurate testimony, and offers inadmissible legal conclusions.” 

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