June 26, 2017

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Connecticut Court Upholds Admissibility of Diffusion Tensor Imaging

A Connecticut trial court has upheld the use of diffusion tensor imagining (DTI), denying the defendants’ in limine motion to bar its introduction. In Vizzo v. Fairfield Bedfort, LLC, plaintiff retained Randall Benson, M.D.,  a behavioral neurologist, to conduct a behavioral neurological evaluation, to administer and interpret a DTI of the plaintiff and correlate  it with clinical findings.

Defendants argued that the introduction of the diffusion tensor imagining should be barred as it was not scientifically valid in this particular case. Defendants asserted that plaintiff has various medical conditions that can account for the same type of imagining changes found on Dr. Bensons DTI testing. The gist of defendants’ argument was that since plaintiff’s preexisting medical conditions would have precluded him from being part of a healthy control group, one cannot use DTI in this case.

The defendants also argued that since Dr. Benson was not a neuroradiologist, his testimony should be excluded as it related to diffusion tensor imagining. Plaintiff’s counsel argued that advanced neuro imagining is not solely the province of neuroradiology and that Dr. Benson was trained to interpret MRI and DTI of the brain at Mass General Hospital. Plaintiff’s counsel pointed out that DTI is different from other radiologic methodologies because it is not based on interpreting a “film,” but is based on a quantitative analysis.

Further, while plaintiff did have preexisting medical conditions, the location of the abnormality on DTI was more consistent with traumatic brain injury (TBI) than plaintiff’s preexisting medical conditions.

The court rejected the defendants’ argument that diffusion tensor imaging should be barred in this case, finding that the grounds for defendants’ motion went more to the weight of the evidence rather than admissibility of it. The court denied defendants’ motion.

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About this Author

Bruce Stern, Accident Attorney, Stark Law Firm
Shareholder

Bruce H. Stern is a Shareholder and member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group, where he concentrates his practice in the area of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and wrongful death. In July 2004, Mr. Stern began publishing Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog as a way to share his knowledge in the field of brain injury law. Additionally, Mr. Stern is the author of numerous articles and a frequent lecturer on the subject of traumatic brain injury litigation, evidence and trial techniques. He also co-authored a book entitled "Litigating Brain Injuries"...

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