Neurosurgery expert witness Dr. Matthew Ammerman testified at the trial of Baltimore Officer William Porter in the death of Freddie Gray. Gray’s neck was broken during police transport and he died as a result. Porter is the first of six officers to stand trial in Gray’s death. Porter’s case ended in a mistrial with a new trial date set for June 13, 2016. Dr. Ammerman testified that Gray suffered a “catastrophic and complete” spinal cord injury while in police custody. Prosecutors say Porter was criminally negligent when he neglected to insure Gray was secured with a seat belt and failed to call a medic when Gray said he needed medical help. The defense holds that Officer Porter followed police procedure.
The World Health Organization Spinal Cord Injury Fact Sheet describes the risks of spinal injury.
Mortality risk increases with injury level and severity and is strongly influenced by availability of timely, quality medical care. Transfer method to hospital after injury and time to hospital admission are important factors.
Neurosurgery experts may consult and testify on traumatic spinal injuries such as vertebral fractures as well as congenital malformations and degenerative conditions including disk herniation and spinal stenosis. Spinal injuries are often complex and devastating. Litigation in these matters requires the most qualified and experienced neurosurgery expert witness.