December 10, 2019

December 09, 2019

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Another Win for Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

A Superior Court of Washington for King County recently upheld the admissibility of diffusion tensor imaging.

In Peach v. RLI Insurance Company, defendants moved to exclude the testimony of Dr. Cyrus Raji and related testimony regarding the admissibility of diffusion tensor imaging. Defendants produced the affidavit of Dean Shibata, M.D. In deciding the motion, utilizing a Frye standard, the Court found as follows:

  • This Court finds that the science and methodology underlined in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is well accepted in the medical and scientific community;

  • This Court further finds the science and methodology underlined in arterial spin labeling (ASL) is also well accepted in the medical and scientific community;

  • The Court further finds any difference of opinion among the experts, with regards to the application of DTI or ASL to determine whether a patient has mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is a matter of weight rather than admissibility;

  • The Court finds that Dr. Raji or Dr. Stobbe are not relying exclusively on the DTI or ASL findings to make a mTBI diagnosis; other evidence also supports a diagnosis of mTBI. This is consistent with the medical communities approached. Admissibility of this testimony and the tests are consistent with decisions in other jurisdictions and peer reviewed articles.

  • The DTI and ASL evidence satisfies the standards of ER 702 and ER 703. Defendants’ complaint that the evidence alone does not establish that the 2014 accident caused abnormalities that may appear in these tests does not support exclusion. This is not how Plaintiffs will present the evidence. Defendants’ attacks on the evidence are proper cross-examination and will go to the weight of the evidence. The evidence is helpful to a jury in determining whether Plaintiff sustained a mTBI, which relates to issues of causation and damages. The evidence is not unreliable or lacking in adequate foundation.

The case is Peach v. RLI Insurance Company, No. 17-2-16348-1 SEA (Superior Court of Washington for King County, May 30, 2019).

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About this Author

Bruce Stern, Stark Law Firm, Spinal Cord Injuries, Litigation Law Attorney
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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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