OYEDEJI v. HUDSON COUNTY et al
OPINION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part 100 Motion to bar Dr. James A. Charles from testifying; granting 101 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on claim for punitive damages. All punitive damagesclaims against Defendants OBrien and Emergency Medical Associates are dismissed w/prejudice. Signed by Judge Stanley R. Chesler on 2/22/16. (sr, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HUDSON COUNTY et al.,
Civil Action No. 12-4270 (SRC)
OPINION & ORDER
This matter comes before the Court on two motions: 1) the motion to bar Dr. James A.
Charles from testifying as to liability, by Defendants Susan O’Brien, D.O. (“O’Brien”) and
Emergency Medical Associates (collectively, “Defendants”); and 2) Defendants’ motion for
partial summary judgment on the claim for punitive damages against them. For the reasons
stated below, the motion to bar testimony will be denied in part and granted in part, and the
motion for partial summary judgment is unopposed and will be granted.
This case arises from allegations of medical negligence in the care received by Plaintiff.
As to the motion to bar the testimony of Dr. Charles, Defendants argue that Dr. Charles is not a
specialist in the area of medicine in which malpractice has been alleged, and thus his testimony
on the standard of care is barred by N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:53A-41. Plaintiff does not oppose the
motion, as long as the preclusion is limited to testimony as to the standard of care applicable to
O’Brien’s alleged medical malpractice. Similarly, Defendants Oscar Aviles and Hudson County
do not oppose the motion, but expressed concerns that Dr. Charles be allowed to testify as to
proximate causation of Plaintiff’s injury. Defendants Liberty Healthcare System, Inc. (“LHS”)
and Jersey City Medical Center also do not oppose the motion, and express concerns about
testimony on proximate causation.
The parties thus are in agreement that Dr. Charles is barred from testifying on the
standard of care applicable to O’Brien’s alleged medical malpractice. As LHS contends,
however, Dr. Charles may still testify, though no party has precisely defined the boundary line.
It appears that the line may be drawn as follows: Dr. Charles may give expert testimony, but he
may not opine directly or indirectly about the care Dr. O’Brien provided, or should have
provided, to Plaintiff.
Defendants move for partial summary judgment on the claim for punitive damages
against them. Plaintiff, in response, states that this motion is unopposed, and it will be granted.
For the reasons above,
IT IS on this 22nd day of February, 2016,
ORDERED that the motion to bar Dr. James A. Charles from testifying (Docket Entry
No. 100) is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part; and it is further
ORDERED that Dr. Charles may give expert testimony at trial, but he may not opine
directly or indirectly about the care Dr. O’Brien provided, or should have provided, to Plaintiff;
and it is further
ORDERED that Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment on the claim for
punitive damages against them (Docket Entry No. 101) is GRANTED; and all punitive damages
claims against Defendants O’Brien and Emergency Medical Associates are hereby DISMISSED
s/ Stanley R. Chesler
Stanley R. Chesler, U.S.D.J.
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