Daniel Keehn went to court complaining that he suffered permanent injuries to his face, neck, and chest after undergoing treatment at La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic. The trial court threw out his case, saying, among other things, that the statute of limitations had already run out, and that the doctor who served as Keehn's expert witness wasn't properly qualified.
In a decision August 5, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal reversed the trial judge's judgment, saying that some of Keehn's complaints are valid.
The trial court erred by excluding Keehn's expert witness, said the appellate court. The statute of limitations had not run out because Keehn had been told by the clinic that his condition was part of the Intense Pulse Light treatment and no one had told him he had suffered second-degree burns.
The clinic's lawyer had argued that the physician who was an expert witness on Keehn's behalf was making judgments beyond his scope of expertise. But the appellate court noted that the expert witness had gone to Stanford Medical School, had been a dermatology resident at the University of California Los Angeles, is board-certified in dermatology and cosmetic surgery, and reviews manuscripts for learned journals in the fields of dermatology and cosmetic surgery.
The case was remanded to the trial court.