Shareholder Kansas Gooden is featured in a Law360 article titled, “Personal Injury and Med Mal Cases to Watch In 2021,” published on January 3, 2021.
The article cites two cases argued by Kansas Gooden—Younkin v. Blackwelder, case number SC19-385, and Dodgen v. Grijalva, case number SC19-1118—as two of the top personal injury and med malpractice cases to watch across the country in 2021. The article states:
“The Florida Supreme Court will decide whether the state's existing precedent has unfairly resulted in defendants being treated differently than plaintiffs regarding information they must disclose about their attorneys' or insurers' financial relationships with medical expert witnesses.
Counsel for defendants in two automotive personal injury cases said during oral arguments in September that the state high court's 2017 decision in Worley v. Central Florida Young Men's Christian Association, which shields details of the financial relationship between a plaintiff's law firm and treating physicians, has "upended" the law in personal injury litigation.
Defense counsel argued that the decision has not been applied evenly to both sides, resulting in plaintiffs essentially using it "as a sword and a shield" — refusing to respond to discovery requests about their expert witnesses while seeking "a ton" of information on the financial relationships between defendants' counsel or insurer and their expert witnesses.
"If the jury is only hearing that the defense's doctors are the ones being paid and have a financial interest, that always starts the defense behind the eight ball," said Kansas R. Gooden of Boyd & Jenerette PA, who is representing petitioners Steven Younkin and Brent A. Dodgen.
Gooden suggested the high court has three options: overturn Worley, hold that Worley applies to both sides' medical experts, or limit financial bias impeachment to what is laid out in Florida Rules of Civil Procedure 1.280.
The third option would allow parties to obtain discovery on experts regarding their employment and payment in the pending case; the percentage of work performed for the party; other cases in which they have testified within a certain timeframe; and the approximate portion of their work that consists of serving as expert witnesses.
Gooden noted the third option was favored by doctors who filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case.”
Law360 subscribers can access the full article at Law360.com.