Rodriguez v. Wal-Mart, Inc., Supreme Court of New Jersey, published March 4, 2019.
Congratulations to Katelyn E. Cutinello, Esq. for her win in the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Amicus Curiae counsel on behalf of the New Jersey Defense Association in the Rodriguez v. Wal-Mart, Inc. case. Rodriguez is a groundbreaking decision regarding expert testimony and damages. It specifically addresses the issue of medical expert testimony on “symptom magnification”, “somatization” and “malingering”.
The Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Division who had established a bright-line rule prohibiting the defense from referencing a plaintiff’s “symptom magnification” and “somatization”. The Supreme Court also upheld the admissibility of plaintiff’s prior psychiatric and medical history which had a logical relationship to the issues. As Amicus for the NJDA, Ms. Cutinello argued for a case-by-case approach subject to the balancing test inherent in a N.J.R.E. 403 analysis, which is now the prevailing law in the State of New Jersey.