The court, in Finn v. BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY, Dist. Court, D. Wyoming 2013, dealt with a car accident in Casper, Wyoming.
The court rejected the motion to exclude the testimony of the biomechanics expert witness testifying on the issue of accident reconstruction.
The court stated:
The Court will move directly to the issue of reliability since Plaintiff does not question Dr. Broker’s qualifications as a biomechanics expert witness under the first prong of Daubert. The sole issue regarding Dr. Broker is whether Dr. Broker has exceeded his expertise in biomechanics and will offer medical opinions or accident reconstruction opinions, which he is not qualified to render. The Court finds it important to offer a definition of biomechanics: the science concerned with the action of forces, internal and external, on the living body. STEDMAN’S MEDICAL DICTIONARY (25th Ed., 1989). “Biomechanical experts have extensive knowledge about how human bodies move when forces are applied to them and thus may provide testimony as to how vehicle occupants move and are impacted in vehicular accidents.” Ingraham v. KIA Motors America, Inc., 2007 WL 2028940 W.D.Okla., n. 12 (citing Nash v. General Motors Corp., 153 P.3d 73, 75, n. 1 (Okla. Civ. App. 2006)). Biomechanical testimony can offer, distinct from medical opinions, testimony concerning the biomechanical forces and relationship between these forces and the medical opinions of the medical experts. Such testimony is not to determine a party’s medical condition, but rather, to determine whether a condition or conditions are consistent with the types of forces in an accident. The utility of such testimony is demonstrated, for example in this case, by both parties designating an expert in biomechanics.
The Court agrees with Defendant that Dr. Broker used the medical opinions of treating medical doctors as a foundation for his biomechanical analysis of the accident. Dr. Broker may testify concerning the biomechanical forces involved in this accident and the relationship between those forces and medical conditions diagnosed by Plaintiff’s treating doctors. The Court finds Dr. Broker is not making a diagnosis or rendering a medical opinion, and he shall not do this as it is not where his qualifications lie. This Court will leave it up to the trial judge to resolve any specific issues that may arise at trial regarding any particular question presented to Dr. Broker and whether they are biomechanical or medical in nature.