Fathi v. Nasir

Plaintiff’s counsel lacked a reasonable objective basis for designating three doctors as expert witnesses who would testify as to plaintiff’s diagnosis and treatment following the defendant’s alleged sexual assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

While the plaintiff’s medical records do reference his allegations of sexual assault, the doctors don’t causally connect the assault to the plaintiff’s injuries. Instead, they reference the assault to describe why the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital or as a transcription of the plaintiff’s statements. Not one of the three doctors rendered an opinion as to whether the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s alleged conduct.

Plaintiff’s counsel had notice that none of the doctors were willing to testify as an expert witness, and no further reasonable inquiry was made as to whether any of them would testify or offer their expert opinion on causation. Without this testimony, it is unlikely that counsel would have been able to prove the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

Defendants’ motion for sanctions granted. Plaintiff’s counsel shall pay $9,912.50 in attorneys’ fees.

Fathi v. Nasir, No. CL17-11581, Nov. 7, 2018. Fairfax Cir. (Azcarate).

Categories: Opinions, Virginia Circuit Courts

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