Additional Considerations for Expert Qualifications Under the Daubert-Rochkind Standard
January 5, 2023
In the recent case of Parkway Neuroscience & Spine Inst. v. Katz, the Court considered the admissibility of expert testimony on the topic of lost profits from a private medical practice. 2022 Md. App. LEXIS 699 (September Term 2022). The expert in the present matter, a CPA, conducted lost profit analyses in the past for small businesses but only once before for a medical practice. The court found that analyzing and computing projected losses for a private medical practice was so specialized and different from other small businesses that a CPA must have particular training or experience to qualify as an expert in a case such at this. The Court held that an expert must meet the minimum qualifications to be accepted by the court, however, the level of expertise and specialization should go to the weight of the testimony and not the admissibility.
The lower court also precluded the CPA’s testimony on the grounds that their utilized methodology was unreliable. Specifically, the expert employed 2015 as a base year for calculating the private medical practice’s lost profits. The lower court found that the use of 2015 as a base year was speculative and lacked a basis for its selection when calculating the damages. The Court of Special Appeals held that the lower court abused its discretion and acted outside of its role as a gatekeeper by second guessing the expert’s choice of data, despite the expert applying otherwise legitimate methodology.