$1 million a-year Allstate expert witness banned by Judges

Judges believes the doctor was bias against personal injury plaintiffs

$1 million a-year Allstate expert witness banned by Judges

Insurance News


Two local judges have made the unconventional move of denying Dr. Derek Duke, a Las Vegas neurosurgeon who earns about $1 million annually by serving second opinions in lawsuits, the chance to testify as an expert witness in two cases.

On March 20, after 11 days of hearings, Timothy Williams, District Judge, ordered that Duke cannot testify in Mitch Wilson’s personal injury case as a 35-page opinion mentioned that “Dr. Duke’s medical opinions are personal and his methodology unreliable. The Court further finds that Dr. Duke’s medical opinions rely heavily on speculation and other irrelevant factors.”

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Williams added that Duke could not testify due to “a history of personal bias as to some treating physicians and extreme bias resulting in prejudice against personal injury plaintiffs,” as reported by a Las Vegas Review-Journal website.

It is unorthodox for a judge to take 11 days to publish a full record about an expert witness’s credentials.

Joining Williams, a former personal injury attorney, in declaring that Duke’s testimony is biased was Mark Denton, District Judge, who disqualified the neurosurgeon from testifying in a 2015 case.

Williams’ opinion detailed an evaluation of 371 of Duke’s reports which showed that the latter disagreed with the treating doctor about 95% of the time and that 86% of the time he found that there was neither injury nor sprain when the treating doctor diagnosed otherwise.

The case notes also reported that Duke would bad-mouth other doctors and blame plaintiffs’ injuries on mental or psychological conditions, despite not being a psychologist.

“The Court notes that on the very first day of his testimony, Dr. Duke informed the Court of his ability to diagnose and treat depression and anxiety without the need for neuropsychological testing, and often merely by talking with him,” the opinion stated.

Sometimes, Duke will tell the plaintiffs that they must resort to other treatment plans and would ask about litigation and comments on the case’s weakness, which is beyond the scope of his role as a supposedly independent examiner, Williams’ opinion added.

The record showed that Duke, in a certain case, described a doctor as “overtly unethical” and “unprofessional.”

Duke once wrote that, “The reputation of Las Vegas spine surgeons nationally is quite poor” and that the treating doctor was “blatantly pandering to those seeking to inflate the economic value of litigation.”

The FBI and the US attorney’s office devoted years seeking to prove what Duke said, yet it yielded little success. The investigation became public nine years ago.

Convictions or pleas from an attorney, a neurosurgeon and a medical consultant have been claimed, but failed to prove that a massive conspiracy involving lawyers and doctors, who are seeking to run up injury costs and drive up settlement costs, exists.

Duke believed that the conspiracy existed, but federal officials could prove a “Medical Mafia’s” existence with the absence of proof.

In a third personal injury case involving Richard Greene, attorney Dennis Prince is taking the unconventional approach of suing Duke by alleging that he has a role in a civil conspiracy with Allstate Insurance and that he interfered on purpose with the insurance contract due to his “extreme bias.”

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