Chapter 74 Expert Reports – Affirmed

  • Ahmed and Diagnostic Group v. Murphy
    • 09-18-00105-CV, 2018 WL 3911036
    • 58th District Court of Jefferson County
    • Justice Horton, Aug. 16, 2018
  • Murphy sued Dr. Raees Ahmed and the Diagnostic Group for an alleged failure to properly diagnose and treat a heart failure. Murphy asserted a healthcare liability claim under the Texas Medical Liability Act.
  • Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Murphy’s Chapter 74 expert reports were conclusory and failed to sufficiently demonstrate causation. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss.
  • The Ninth Court held that the reports contained adequate explanations and causal links to meet the minimum standards of Chapter 74 of the Texas Practice and Remedies Code.

Chapter 74 Expert Reports – Affirmed

  • Golden Years Assisted Living v. Richard
    • 09-17-00251-CV, 2018 WL 3384500
    • 128th District Court of Orange County
    • Justice Johnson, July 12, 2018
  • Priscilla alleges negligent care or treatment of her husband after being admitted to Golden Years and New Century Hospice.
  • To support her case, Plaintiff provided expert reports of a registered nurse and a plastic surgeon. Defendants filed motion to dismiss for failure to file adequate expert reports under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code for healthcare liability claims, claiming that the reports were conclusory as to causation.
  • In response, Plaintiffs argued that causation was adequately addressed and the reports met the requirements of Chapter 74. Addendum reports were filed to supplement standards of case, after which Defendants filed a second motion to dismiss.
  • The Ninth Court held that when evaluating a report under Chapter 74, the report must demonstrate causation only beyond mere conjecture. The reports provided a basis for the trial court to concluded that the threshold requirements of Chapter 74 were met and the Plaintiff’s claim asserted a viable liability theory with merit. No abuse of discretion.

Expert Designation – Reversed and Remanded

  • Oyoque v. Henning
    • 09-17-00018-CV, 2018 WL 1527892
    • 284th District Court of Montgomery County
    • Justice Kreger, Mar. 29, 2018
  • Henning sued Oyoque to enforce the restrictive covenants contained in the deed restrictions for the Lake Chateau Woods subdivision The jury found in favor of Henning. On appeal, Oyoque challenged the trial’s court’s striking of his experts, among other things.
  • The Ninth Court noted that (1) Henning never sent a request for disclosure to Oyoque, (2) the trial court’s discovery control order did not provide for the designation of expert witnesses, and (3) thus, Rule 195 governed the parties’ disclosure of experts, the comments of which state that “[d]isclosure is designed to afford parties basic discovery of specific categories of information, not automatically in every case, but upon request.”
  • The Ninth Court found that Oyoque, under Rule 195.2, was not required to “furnish information requested,” because no such information had been requested. As a result, he had no affirmative duty to designate experts, and the Ninth Court reversed the judgment and remanded the case.

Expert Designation – Affirmed

  • Guardianship of Hoffpauir
    • 09-16-00152-CV, 2018 WL 1321509
    • County Court at Law of Orange County
    • Justice McKeithen, Mar. 15, 2018
  • Hoffpauir complained that the trial court abused its discretion by excluding  her expert witness’s offered testimony regarding audio recordings. The Respondents contended that the audio recordings and the offered opinions were not disclosed by Hoffpauir in her designation of experts; Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 193.6 is mandatory absent a showing of good cause or lack of unfair prejudice.
  • The Ninth Court held that Hoffpauir never amended or supplemented her designation of experts to disclose that her expert had relied upon the audio recordings or that the expert would be called upon to give an opinion concerning the audio recordings. Given that the testimony was offered for the first time at trial, there was no good cause or lack of prejudice shown. The Ninth Court found that under Rule 193.6, the trial court did not abuse his discretion.