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Gena Pearson and Clay Pearson (collectively, “Pearson”) sued appellees, Dr. Robert Lyles, Jr. and Dr. Phyllis Barson, for medical malpractice. Pearson alleged that she developed left-sided, low-back sacroiliitis from a bilateral sacroiliac joint injection that Dr. Lyles performed in 2010. She claimed that Dr. Lyles’ treatment was the result of a negligent referral by Dr. Barson.

Pearson later amended her complaint to allege that she did not give informed consent to the treatments provided to her by either Dr. Lyles or Dr. Barson.

Days before trial, appellees submitted a motion to dismiss Pearson’s informed consent claim and a motion in limine to preclude the testimony of Pearson’s expert witness, Dr. Michael Shear.

After a motions hearing, the circuit court dismissed Pearson’s informed consent claim. The court agreed to allow the parties to voir dire Dr. Shear and then determine the admissibility of his testimony.

Trial began. Pearson called her final witness, Dr. Shear, whose testimony was heard outside of the jury. After allowing both parties to voir dire Dr. Shear, the circuit court granted appellees’ motion in limine to preclude Pearson’s sole expert from testifying as to the cause of her injuries.  Appellees moved for judgment, which the circuit court granted.

Pearson presents two questions for our review, which we have rephrased for clarity:

1. Did the circuit court err in dismissing Pearson’s informed consent claim based on ambiguity in the allegations?

2. Did the circuit court abuse its discretion by excluding the expert testimony of Dr. Shear for failing to satisfy the causation requirement of Md. Rule 5-702?

Read the unreported opinion.