Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Using SSDI determination as evidence of extent of PI Plaintiff's injury

I am defending a PI case in which the plaintiff claims to be flharfh05/18/17
I don't know your state's laws about expert testimony but my karlfarbman05/18/17
Experts can rely on info that is otherwise inadmissible. Run midlaw05/18/17
Remember the doctrine of "collateral estoppel" from law scho jeffm05/18/17
Second jeffm's post. Look up "defensive nonmutual collateral specv31305/18/17
But is the client a party to the ssdi hearing? If not, Then vespucius05/18/17
You need identity of parties for res judicata but not for co jeffm05/18/17
Agreed. Party identity is unnecessary for collateral estoppe specv31305/19/17
It'd be more probative to have your expert review the record lolasaurusrex05/19/17
Not an expert by any means, but I'd not put much stock in a qdllc05/19/17
"get people on to SSDI is a cottage industry " Huge and s 2ski05/20/17
Hey, you spelled "ethic" wrong. ;-) inho2solo05/20/17
flharfh (May 18, 2017 - 4:58 pm)

I am defending a PI case in which the plaintiff claims to be permanently injured and unable to work but was denied SSDI. Does anyone have experience litigating whether the SSDI hearing findings would be admissible as evidence that he is not disabled? This issue only on the horizon for now (Plaintiff is appealing the SSDI determination, and depending on the appeal result I may be arguing the other side). I understand it may be state specific, but I'm sure someone has run into this before and might know what the standard evidentiary arguments are.

Reply
karlfarbman (May 18, 2017 - 5:23 pm)

I don't know your state's laws about expert testimony but my first instinct is that if the findings you want to use were not a doctor's findings but SSA's, you might have trouble using them. If they are, seems like you could use them although you'd need the doctor's testimony, issues of hearsay contained in the documents aside. Last I saw SSDI records, doctors submitted their medical opinions re: the person's disability IIRC, so to the extent there are findings in those it seems like you could try to use them. Also, maybe the findings would be something the court could take judicial notice of like some other court records, although you may still have issues with the findings not coming from an expert.

Are you getting a doctor to do an IME? Seems like using the SSDI records might not be worth the hassle if you are.

Reply
midlaw (May 18, 2017 - 6:32 pm)

Experts can rely on info that is otherwise inadmissible. Run it through an expert.

Reply
jeffm (May 18, 2017 - 7:13 pm)

Remember the doctrine of "collateral estoppel" from law school? That's what you are describing. I've had to research it in the past, and my recollection is that a party can only be collaterally estopped by a final adjudication. If a final determination of denial is made, then, collateral estoppel might apply. There should be case law on whether determinations in administrative proceedings can apply.

Reply
specv313 (May 18, 2017 - 7:17 pm)

Second jeffm's post. Look up "defensive nonmutual collateral estoppel".

Reply
vespucius (May 18, 2017 - 8:42 pm)

But is the client a party to the ssdi hearing? If not, Then there cannot be estoppel? Also is the burden of proof the same in the ssdi hearing? Those are two issues.

Reply
jeffm (May 18, 2017 - 10:31 pm)

You need identity of parties for res judicata but not for collateral estoppel. Good point about burden of proof.

Reply
specv313 (May 19, 2017 - 5:59 pm)

Agreed. Party identity is unnecessary for collateral estoppel purposes. Hence the term "non mutual" collateral estoppel. Party identity (or those in privity with the original party) is unnecessary. Also agreed that burden of proof is an open question.

Reply
lolasaurusrex (May 19, 2017 - 6:47 pm)

It'd be more probative to have your expert review the records. Additionally, permanently injured and permanently disabled are not one and the same thing. You can have a permanent impairment but not be permanetly disabled. For example, if plaintiff was 60 year old heavy duty laborer and after his injury social security said he could only do sedentary duty he could not be disabled. However his injuries could be permanent to not allow him to work in a heavy duty job anymore and at that age he might not have the skill set to work a sedentary job. Long way of saying I think you get better evidence in having an expert review the records then trying to submit SSDI records and have Plaintiff explain them away if you do not retain an expert.

Reply
qdllc (May 19, 2017 - 7:36 pm)

Not an expert by any means, but I'd not put much stock in a SSDI denial unless it had run through the whole appeal process. From what I've heard from many disabled people who should get SSDI, it seems most everyone is denied initially. Litigation to get people on to SSDI is a cottage industry in many places. Only those really determined get on it.

Reply
2ski (May 20, 2017 - 8:07 am)

"get people on to SSDI is a cottage industry "

Huge and so true. Tends to support how so many males of certain ethnic at at home during the day. Just sayn'

Reply
inho2solo (May 20, 2017 - 9:37 am)

Hey, you spelled "ethic" wrong.
;-)

Reply
Post a message in this thread