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Ruzhinskaya v. Healthport Technologies, LLC

Area of Law:

Wills and Trusts

Grounds:

Defendant moved to exclude the testimony of Richard Royston, Plaintiff’s expert, as to Defendant’s “cost incurred” on ground that he lacks expertise and that his opinion is unreliable. Plaintiff moved to exclude the testimony of Bryan Hirsch, Defendant’s expert (court opinion states no express ground for challenging the testimony).

Outcome:

Denied

Analysis:

Fist, the court considered Defendant’s argument that Mr. Royston’s testimony is inadmissible because he lacks expertise in the “release of information” and healthcare industries.  Slip op. at 2.  The court concluded that such expertise is not necessary for Mr. Royston to opine on Healthport’s “cost incurred,” as this task only requires some facility with financial records and concepts.  Id.  The opinion noted, however, that the court would not allow a witness to make unsupported assumptions that lack basis in the trial evidence.  Id.  While the court did not directly address reliability of Mr. Royston’s testimony, it held that Defendant’s arguments critiquing aspects of Royston’s work were unconvincing.  Id.  The court denied the motion to exclude Mr. Royston’s testimony.

Next, the court considered Plaintiff’s motion to exclude Mr. Hirsch’s opinion criticizing certain aspects of Royston’s reasoning and methodology.  Slip op. at 3.  The court stated that it considered Mr. Hirsch’s report in deciding whether to exclude Mr. Royston’s opinion.  Id.  The court added that Mr. Hirsch’s testimony is directed not to a cause of action or a defense, but to undermining another witness’s conclusion.  Id.  Because no determination has been made on the contours of Mr. Royston’s permissible trial testimony, the court held that it was premature to decide on admissibility of Mr. Hirsch’s testimony.  Id.  The court denied Plaintiff’s motion.  Id.