August 8, 2000 - Caryl Leventhal's personal physician Kam C. Poon MD, Phd. is deposed. Deposition in its Entirety
Since 1992, Dr. Poon has been Caryl Leventhal's personal physician. A modest man of knowledge, honor, integrity and empathy, Dr. Poon departs from the norm by any standard. Dr. Poon has already supplied the legally recognized forms stating that in Caryl Leventhal's case, high levels of stress are contributing factors to her having an exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis.
While not a Neurologist, Dr. Poon has a Phd in Anatomy as well as an MD. He shares a keen long term professional interest in Multiple Sclerosis although he is not a trained specialist in this area. Over the years, Dr. Poon has displayed a sense of professionalism, selflessness and concern towards Caryl Leventhal that the US Attorney could never understand. He is an honor to the medical profession.
US ATTORNEY POINTS OF EXPLOITATION: Since Caryl Leventhal has a neurological illness (Multiple Sclerosis), legal weight is given to the opinion of Neurologists, with corresponding diminution of opinion towards a personal practitioner. During Dr. Poon's deposition, the US Attorney uses the following strategy:
(1) THE US ATTORNEY ATTEMPTS TO PLACE UNDER-EMPHASIS ON THE OPINIONS OF DR. POON RELATIVE TO MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS - Dr. Poon believes that in Caryl Leventhal's case stress can bring on an exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis and has stated this in writing. On June 12, 1996 he diagnosed Ms. Leventhal as suffering from "An Acute Exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis and Palpitations."
On the other hand, a personal physician will always defer to the opinion of a neurologist as a professional point of order, irrespective of his or her personal opinion. In Caryl Leventhal's case, she has only seen two neurologists since her diagnosis in 1992. The first was a Dr. Untericht when she was originally diagnosed with MS. This was for three sessions in 1992. The second was Dr. Pincus. Ms. Leventhal saw Dr. Pincus once in 1993, prior to receiving anesthesia in unrelated surgery. The second time was in 1996 after Dr. Poon diagnosed her with an Acute Exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis and Hypertension.
(2) THINKING DR. PINCUS' REPORT BELITTLES THE SERIOUSNESS OF MS. LEVENTHAL'S CONDITION AFTER EIGHT MONTHS OF EMPLOYMENT AT THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, THE US ATTORNEY ATTEMPTS TO PLACE EMPHASIS ON THE NEUROLOGIST'S VIEWS. THIS IS BECAUSE THE US ATTORNEY DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO EVALUATE MEDICAL RECORDS. Dr. Pincus is a fine Neurologist, but has never developed a case history. His only points of reference in Caryl Leventhal's case involves receiving a copy of an MRI report dated June 28, 1996 (early stages of her very bad exacerbation) and comparing it with one taken in March 1992. It would be unfair to expect an in depth evaluation given the limited information he had available.
Non the less, Dr. Pincus' January 1993 report designating Caryl Leventhal's MS "In Remission" differs markedly from the one he wrote on August 1, 1996. The primary bases for his evaluation rested with comparisons between the 1992 and 1996 MRI reports. In the earlier report, there were strong indications that Ms. Leventhal had Multiple Sclerosis. With it went a suggestion that "In the appropriate clinical setting, other things to be considered would be the sequela of HIV, metastasis, Lyme disease or vbasculitis. In layman terms, this means that while highly suggestive, there might be other causes.
After Caryl Leventhal's brutalization at INS between the summers of 1995-1996, the 1996 MRI report left no doubt as to the diagnosis because the damage had spread. In Dr. Pincus' August 1996 evaluation, he speaks of "memory loss, fatigue and difficulty concentrating." In addition, examination noted Caryl's gait (walk) to be "somewhat unsteady." He also noted that Ms. Leventhal "has difficulty sleeping" is "fatigued" and "suffers from probable depression."
Without any case history to draw from, Dr. Pincus' diagnosis was that Ms. Leventhal's MS "seems stable." In the medical world this means that in his opinion, while her symptoms were worse than in 1992, Dr. Pincus had insufficient information to categorically diagnose Ms. Leventhal as plunging into an exacerbation. On the other than, there was room for concern because of noticeable significant deterioration. In an exacerbation, deterioration is tracked for months or more.
In fact, after two months of additional decline, Ms. Leventhal's condition was grave and continued to decline. Her deterioration was such that after medical and psychological examination, the Social Security Administration subsequently declared her totally disabled as of June 8, 1996. This was compounded by a deep depression brought on by vicious nightmares of her treatment at INS that have never abated to this day. Dr. Poon's original June 1996 diagnosis of the onset of an Acute Exacerbation of Multiple Sclerosis was proven to have been correct.
1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK 2 3 CARYL B. LEVENTHAL, 4 Plaintiff, 5 -against 6 HON. JANET RENO, Attorney General of the United States, 7 Defendant. 8 99 CIV. 10405 (SAS) 9 10 August 8, 2000 11 10:16 p.m. 12 100 Church Street 13 New York, New York 14 15 DEPOSITION 16 of KAM C. POON, M.D., a Non-Party Witness herein, 17 held at the above-noted time and place before Wayne 18 Hock, a Notary Public of the State of New York, 19 pursuant to Subpoena, the Provisions of the FRCP 20 pertaining thereto, and stipulations between 21 counsel. 22 23 24 25 VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 K. POON
1 A P P E A R A N C E S 2 MICHAEL R. BRESSLER, ESQ. 3 Attorney for Plaintiff 36 West 44th Street 4 New York, New York 10036 5 6 MARY JO WHITE, ESQ. 7 Attorney for Defendant 100 Church Street 8 New York, New York 10007 9 BY: ERIC B. FISHER, ESQ., of Counsel 10 ALSO PRESENT: 11 MICHAEL LEVENTHAL 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 3
1 IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED AND AGREED 2 by and between the attorneys for the respective 3 parties hereto that filing, sealing and 4 certification be and the same are hereby waived. 5 IT IS FURTHER STIPULATED AND AGREED that all 6 objections, except as to the form of the question, 7 shall be reserved to the time of the trial. 8 IT IS FURTHER STIPULATED AND AGREED that the 9 within examination may be subscribed and sworn to 10 before any Notary Public with-the,same force and 11 effect as though subscribed and sworn to before the 12 court. 13 IT IS FURTHER STIPULATED that a copy of this 14 transcript shall be furnished without charge to the 15 attorney representing the witness. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 4
1 K A M C. P 0 0 N, having 2 been first duly sworn by a Notary Public of 3 the State of New York, upon being examined, 4 testified as follows: 5 EXAMINATION BY 6 MR. FISHER: 7 Q. Please state your full name. 8 A. Kam C. Poon. 9 Q. What is your present address? 10 A. 8504 21st Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11214. 11 Q. Good morning, Dr. Poon. 12 A. Good morning. 13 Q. My name is Eric Fisher, and I'm the attorney who 14 represents the government, the defendant, in this 15 case that is brought by Caryl Leventhal. 16 I'm going to be asking you a number of questions 17 today,. and if at any point you don't understand a 18 question, please let me know and I'll rephrase my 19 question. 20 Is that clear? 21 A. Yes. 22 Q. If at any point today you'd like to take a 23 break, let me know and we'll take a break. 24 Is that clear? 25 A. Yes.
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1 Q. It's important that you answer my questions in 2 an audible voice so that the court reporter can take 3 down everything that we say today. 4 Is there any condition that you're aware of that 5 would in any way prevent you from providing complete 6 and accurate testimony today? 7 A . No. 8 Q. Dr. Poon, would you please briefly describe your 9 educational background after high school. 10 A. I finished my college-in Hong Kong, and then 11 after that, I taught for one year in Hong Kong. 12 Then I came to United States in 1972 and attend 13 graduate school in Medical University of South 14 Carolina. I got a master's degree in pathology in 15 '76 and a Ph.D. in '79, and then I was research 16 associate for about two or three years. Then I 17 attended St. George's University School of Medicine 18 in 1981 and I finished medical degree in 1985. 19 Q. You earned your M.D. degree from St. George's? 20 A. Yes. 21 Q. Where is St. George's? 22 A. In Grenada, West Indies. 23 Q. Did you earn both your MS and Ph.D. from 24 University of South Carolina? 25 A. No, Medical University of South Carolina. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 6
1 Q. Where in South Carolina is the medical 2 university? 3 A. Charleston, South Carolina. 4 Q. Doctor, for the sake of keeping a clear 5 transcript, allow me to finish my question before 6 you give your answer. 7 Where is the Medical University of South 8 Carolina? 9 A. Charleston, South Carolina. 1.0 Q. What was the primary focus of your master's 11 degree? 12 A. It was research in pathology. 13 Q. In particular, what aspect of pathology? 14 A. Electro microscopy. 15 Q. What is electro microscopy? 16 A. Electro microscopy is instrument we use to 17 magnify, you know, objects. It can be magnified by 18 a hundred thousand times, a very high power. 19 Q. Did you write a master's thesis? 20 A. Yes. 21 Q. What was the title or the subject of your 22 master's thesis? 23 A. It's about a substance called con-A. I studied 24 some chemistry and different aspect of that 25 substance to be used in tissue studies. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 7
1 Q. What was your primary area of research for your 2 Ph.D. degree? 3 A. The Ph.D. is focused on a special type of cell 4 in the body called mast cell, M A S T, which is 5 supposed to be responsible for allergic reactions.
6 Q. Did you write a Ph.D. thesis? 7 A. Yes. 8 Q. What was the specific subject of that thesis? 9 A. It's about that special cell type, the mast 10 cells. 11 Q. Did any of your research at the Medical 12 University in South Carolina involve multiple 13 sclerosis? 14 A. No. 15 Q. Then I believe you testified that after you 16 earned your Ph.D. degree, you were a research 17 associate? 18 A. Yes. 19 Q. Where were you a research associate? 20 A. In the same institute. 21 Q. How many years were you a research associate? 22 A. About, I think, from '79 to '81, probably about
23 three to four years. 24 Q. What was your primary area of focus during those 25 years? VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 8
1 A. It's study of blood cells by using different 2 type of microcopies. 3 Q. Did your research during that period have 4 anything to do with multiple sclerosis? 5 A. No. 6 Q. Following your work as a research associate, you 7 then went to St. George's? 8 A. Yes. 9 Q. Did you go there full time? 10 A. No, I was also an instructor in the department 11 of pathology. 12 Q. You were an instructor at St. George's? 13 A. Yes. 14 Q. What did you teach? 15 A. Pathology. 16 Q. Did you teach anything that concerned multiple 17 sclerosis? 18 A. No. It's general pathology. 19 Q. After you earned your medical degree in 1985, 20 did you then return to the States? 21 A. No, I returned to the States in '83 and I did my 22 what we call the clerkship in Methodist Hospital. 23 Q. Where is Methodist Hospital? 24 A. It's in Brooklyn, New York. 25 Q. How long was your clerkship at Methodist VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 9
1 Hospital? 2 A. Two years. 3 Q. During your two-year clerkship at Methodist 4 Hospital, did you work with patients who had 5 multiple sclerosis? 6 A. I don't quite remember, there's so many 7 patients. 8 Q. During that period, was the treatment of 9 multiple sclerosis an area that you concentrated in? 10 A. No: 11 Q. Did your education at St. George's include 12 covering the topic of multiple sclerosis? 13 A. Very limited. 14 Q. When you say, "very limited," do you recall what 15 classes it was covered in? 16 A. I don't recall. It was too long ago. 17 Q. Was your clerkship at Methodist Hospital a 18 full-time clerkship? 19 A. Yes. 20 Q. Did that clerkship conclude in 1985? 21 A. Part of it, I think. 22 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't understand your answer. 23 A. Because I graduated in the summer, so in other 24 words, the first half of the year is a clerkship and 25 then the second half I started my residency. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 10
1 Q. So you began your residency in 1985? 2 A. Yes. 3 Q. Did your residency begin at Methodist Hospital? 4 A. Yes. 5 Q. How long was your residency? 6 A. Three years. 7 Q. What field was your residency in? 8 A. Internal medicine. 9 Q. During the course of your residency, did you 10 treat patients with multiple sclerosis? 11 A. Like I said, we don't treat too many, you know, 12 multiple sclerosis patients. 13 Q. Was multiple sclerosis ever a focus of your 14 training in your residency? 15 A. Like what I just said, we only receive 16 information on general topics. 17 Q. During the course of your residency, do you 18 recall treating any patients with multiple 19 sclerosis? 20 A. I don't recall because there's thousands of 21 patients that I treat. 22 Q. Following your three-year clerkship -- when did 23 your clerkship conclude? 24 A. In 1985. 25 Q. When did your residency conclude?
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1 A. 1985. 2 Q. When did your residency begin? 3 A. In July, 1995. No, '85, I'm sorry.
4 Q. July, 1985 your residency began? 5 A. Yes. 6 Q. When did your residency conclude? 7 A. In June, 1988. 8 Q. Following the conclusion of your residency in 9 June, 1988, what is the next job that you had? 10 A.I was a fellow in the same department of 11 internal medicine in the division of 12 hematology/oncology. 13 Q. What did your responsibilities as a fellow in 14 internal medicine, department of 15 hematology/oncology, involve? 16 A. We took care of patients with blood disorders 17 and cancer patients. 18 Q. Is multiple sclerosis a disorder that comes 19 within the field of hematology or oncology? 20 A. Well, I don't think we deal with that topic that 21 much at all. 22 Q. Did you continue to teach at all during this 23 period? 24 A. Well, sometimes I'll instruct the medical 25 students and the residents.
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1 Q. When you instructed the medical students and the 2 residents, that was in the field of hematology and 3 oncology? 4 A. I can't understand your question. 5 Q. When you instructed the medical students and the 6 residents, were you instructing them in the field of 7 hematology and oncology? 8 A. Yes. 9 Q. When did this fellowship conclude? 10 A. In 1991. 11 Q. And the fellowship was at Methodist Hospital? 12 A. Yes. 13 Q. In 1991, what was your next job? 14 A. I started my private practice. 15 Q. Did you start it in the same office that you 16 have today? 17 A. No. 18 Q. Where was your office at the time? 19 A. The first office I set up was on Avenue U, 1407 20 Avenue U in Brooklyn. 21 Q. How long were you in that office? 22 A. I'm still in that office. 23 Q. Do you have any partners? 24 A. No. 25 Q. What field of medicine do you practice? VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 13
1 A. Internal medicine and hematology/oncology. 2 Q. Aside from Ms. Leventhal, do you treat any 3 patients or have you treated any patients who have 4 multiple sclerosis? 5 A. Well, very seldom. 6 Q. Can you recall any specific patients aside from 7 Ms. Leventhal who you've treated in your private 8 practice who have multiple sclerosis? 9 A. I don't quite recall, because this is a very 10 rare disease. _ _. 11 Q. Are there some records that you could look at to 12 find out whether you've treated someone with 13 multiple sclerosis in your private practice aside 14 from Ms. Leventhal? 15 A. Well, that would be difficult, because I have 16 thousands and thousands of patients. Like I said, 17 this is not a common disease. 18 Q. Sitting here today, can you remember in your 19 private practice ever treating any other patient who 20 had multiple sclerosis aside from Ms. Leventhal? 21 A. Well, I don't recall. 22 Q. When did you become licensed to practice 23 medicine in New York? 24 A. 1988, I think. 25 Q. Are you licensed in any other states?
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1 A. No. 2 Q. Are you Board certified in any field? 3 A. I'm Board certified in internal medicine. 4 Q. Are you the member of any professional 5 societies? 6 A. I'm a member of the American College of 7 Physicians. 8 Q. Anything else? 9 A. No, that's it. _.10 Q. After your fellowship at Methodist Hospital, did 11 you hold any other teaching positions? 12 A. No. 13 Q. Have you published any articles in the field of 14 internal medicine? 15 A. I have twenty, something around twenty 16 publications involving my research. 17 Q. Are you the lead author on any of those 18 publications? 19 A. I'm the lead author on most of them. 20 Q. What field are those articles in? 21 A. Like what I just mentioned, my research is 22 focused on electron microscopy and tissue studies. 23 Q. What journals were those articles published in? 24 A. Oh, I don't quite recall. 25 Q. I understand that asking you to remember where VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 15
1 you published twenty articles is a difficult feat. 2 Can you remember any of the journals where you 3 published those articles? 4 A. I think one of the journals is American Journal 5 of Pathology. 6 Q. Can you remember any other journals? 7 A. Like I said, it was quite awhile back. 8 Q. Do you have a list of your publications 9 somewhere? 10 A. Yes. 11 Q. Have you published any books? 12 A . No. 13 Q. Or have you written any chapters that became 14 sections in books? 15 A . No. 16 Q. Have you delivered papers at professional 17 conferences? 18 A. Yes. 19 Q. What field did you deliver those papers in? 20 A. Like I just said, I don't recall. 21 My main interest is in electromicroscopy and 22 tissue studies, so they are in those areas. 23 Q. You've never written any articles on multiple 24 sclerosis? 25 A. No.
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1 Q. Have you ever delivered papers on multiple 2 sclerosis? 3 A. No. 4 Q. Who referred Caryl Leventhal to you for 5 treatment? 6 A. Actually, she wasn't referred to me for 7 treatment at the beginning. She was referred to me 8 by Dr. Seckin, S E C K I N, about six or seven years 9 ago for medical clearance for surgery. 10 Q. What surgery was that? -. - 11 A. I think it was hysterectomy. 12 THE WITNESS: Is that it, hysterectomy? 13 MR. FISHER: Mr. Leventhal, please don't 14 speak. 15 Dr. Poon, I've brought with me some 16 documents. I'll ask the court reporter to 17 mark as Defendant's Exhibit W documents 18 that are numbered at the bottom M5 through 19 M2 8 . 20 (Whereupon, a medical record 21 was marked Defendant's Exhibit W 22 for identification.) 23 Q. Dr. Poon, the court reporter has just handed you 24 a document these been marked as Defendant's Exhibit 25 W . VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 17
1 Focusing just on the page -- you'll see that the 2 pages are numbered at the bottom, so if you look 3 from page MS through to page M12, it consists of 4 eight pages. 5 Please look at those pages and let me know 6 whether those are copies of your office records 7 concerning your treatment of Miss Leventhal. 8 A. (Reviewing). 9 Yes. 10 Q. A-s .far. as you know; is--this a complete set of 11 your records concerning your treatment of Ms.
12 Leventhal? 13 A. Yes. 14 Q. And if you look at the first entry on page M5, 15 the date next to this entry says 1/6/93. 16 Is that the date of Miss Leventhal's first visit 17 to you? 18 A. Yes. 19 Q. What was the purpose of her first visit? 20 A. Like I said, she need a medical clearance for 21 her surgery on January 19, '93. 22 Q. If you look at the fourth line of these notes, 23 there's an abbreviation there that appears to be 24 PMM. 25 A. That is past medical history. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 K. POON
1 Q. Thank you. PMH, past medical history? 2 And next to past medical history, it says 3 multiple sclerosis on 3/92. 4 A. No, that is diagnosed in March, '92. 5 Q. Thank you. 6 How did you learn that Ms. Leventhal was 7 diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in March, '92? 8 A. She told me about her history. 9 Q. Did you review any records in connection with 10 that diagnosis at this time? 11 A. She give me an MRI report that was on exhibit 12 number page thirteen. 13 Q. The page number thirteen is a letter to Dr. 14 Unterricht? 15 A. Yes. 16 Q. Do you know a Dr. Unterricht? 17 A. Barely. 18 Q. If you focus on the bottom section of your notes 19 on page M5, would you please read for the record, 20 because I don't want to misread your notes, just 21 what the last four lines says and what it means. 22 A. The first line is MS, means multiple sclerosis 23 in abbreviation. The second line is laboratory 24 studies, including CBC, which stands for complete 25 blood count, SMA18 which is chemistry, and lipid VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 19
1 profile. And she was referred for neurologist, and 2 the last line was return to office in one week. 3 Q. Did you write these notes? 4 A. Yes. 5 Q. With reference to the referral to the 6 neurologist, do you recall who you referred her to? 7 A. Yes, Dr. Martin Pincus, P I N C U S. 8 Q. Do you know whether Ms. Leventhal went to see 9 Dr. Pincus? 10 A. Yes 11 Q. How do you know that she went to see Dr. Pincus? 12 A. Because he called me after he saw the patient. 13 Q. When was this call? 14 A. I don't recall. 15 Q. Did he call you soon after he examined her?
16 A. Yes. 17 Q. What is it that he told you? 18 A. He told me that she is stable.
(NOTE: In point of fact, Dr. Pincus' 1993 medical evaluation
stated that Ms. Leventhal was in "Remission." This is significantly
better than "stable.")
19 Q. Anything else? 20 A. That's the only -- he said that neurologically, 21 she is clear for this operation. 22 Q. What operation is that? 23 A. I don't quite recall, because she didn't mention 24 besides about a surgery for me. 25 Q. If you look at the first two lines of your
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1 notes, does that help you remember what the surgery 2 was for? 3 A. No. 4 Q. Did you make any recommendations to Ms. 5 Leventhal at the time of this first visit as to how 6 she should care for herself? 7 A. At that time it was just basically for the 8 clearance for the surgery. I didn't give her any 9 recommendation for her treatment. 10 Q. In conjunction with Dr. Pincus, did you 11 determine that she was clear for surgery? 12 A. Yes. 13 Q. If you turn to the next page of your notes, in 14 the upper left-hand corner, it has the date March 15 27, ' 93. 16 Was that the date of Ms. Leventhal's next visit 17 to you? 18 A. Yes. 19 Q. What was the purpose of that visit? 20 A. Well, it was a follow-up visit. 21 Q. What did you determine at this follow-up visit? 22 A. At that time she complained about she has some 23 slurred speech. 24 Q. Did she have any other complaints? 25 A. That's her major complaint. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 21
1 Q. Did you make any determinations as to the cause 2 for her complaint of slurred speech? 3 A. At that time I was feeling that she should have 4 some blood test done and see it may be from the 5 exacerbation of the multiple sclerosis. 6 Q. So was it your view that as of March 27, 1993, 7 Ms. Leventhal may have been experiencing an 8 exacerbation of her multiple sclerosis? 9 A. It's a possibility. 10 Q. And did you do tests to determine whether that 11 was the case? 12 A. I think at that time she was also seen -- I 13 talked, as you see on the second visit on April 24, 14 '93, her symptoms have subsided, and also at the 15 time I discuss with her about the treatment options 16 which included interferon. 17 Q. Treatment options for what? 18 A. For multiple sclerosis. 19 Q. When did you discuss these treatment options 20 with Ms. Leventhal? 21 A. During that office visit. 22 Q. Are you referring to the April or the March 23 office visit? 24 A. No, the April. 25 Q. At the time what treatment options did you VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 K. POON
1 discuss with Ms. Leventhal? 2 A. The major treatment is interferon and steroid. 3 Q. Is that interferon? 4 A. Yes. 5 Q. What is interferon treatment? 6 A. Which is one of the substance we call the 7 disease modifying agents for multiple sclerosis. 8 Q. That's disease modifying agent? 9 A. Yeah. 10 Q. Whatdoes the treatment consist of? 11 A. It's a subcutaneous injection of interferon. 12 Q. Then are steroids another treatment for multiple 13 sclerosis or are they administered in conjunction 14 with the interferon? 15 A. No, they're separate. 16 Q. Is that a separate option for people who have 17 multiple sclerosis? 18 A. No, steroid is usually used for exacerbations. 19 Q. Do you know whether Ms. Leventhal elected to 20 pursue either of these options? 21 A. She decided not to pursue these medications. 22 Q. Did you recommend to her one way or the other 23 that she ought to or ought not to pursue these 24 treatment options? 25 A. Well, one of the options, they choose to get low
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1 calorie and low carbohydrate diet. 2 Q. Is that an option that you discussed with her? 3 A. Yes. 4 Q. Do you recall anything about your discussion of 5 the issue of diet with Ms. Leventhal? 6 A. Would you rephrase the question? 7 Q . Sure. 8 Did you have a discussion with Ms. Leventhal 9 about her diet? 10 A. Yes. -.:, _. - 11 Q. Do you remember anything about that discussion? 12 A. Like what I just mentioned, I recommended that 13 she should have low calorie and low carbohydrate 14 diet. 15 Q. Is that kind of diet helpful in treating 16 multiple sclerosis? 17 A. The answer is yes.
Note: In fact, it is far more than a "low calarie and low carbohydrate" diet, but Dr. Poon
is reluctant to get into it because he is not a Multiple Sclerosis "Specialist." Developed
by Caryl's husband Michael, it is proven successful not only for Ms. Leventhal but for
others with MS.
18 Q. What is your opinion that it is helpful based 19 on? 20 A. Because according to the patient, that she had 21 much less symptoms when she sticks to her diet. 22 Q. Is your opinion that diet is helpful in 23 alleviating Ms. Leventhal's symptoms of multiple 24 sclerosis based on anything else besides her telling 25 you that she felt better when she was on a VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 24
1 particular diet? 2 A. Well, the major objective is that she is much 3 less symptomatic. 4 Q. So when Ms. Leventhal stuck to this diet, she 5 had fewer symptoms? 6 A. She's stable. 7 Q. When she stuck to the diet, she was stable? 8 A. Yes. 9 Q. Aside from that observation of Ms. Leventhal's
10 case, is your view that diet can be helpful to 11 people who have multiple sclerosis based on anything 12 else? 13 A. Well, it can be a way to help them. 14 Q. What is that based on, the view that diet can be 15 one way to help people with multiple sclerosis? 16 A. Some of the materials that I read. 17 Q. What did you read about this subject? 18 A. Oh, in different journals or books. 19 Q. Do you recall the names of any of the journals 20 that you consulted or the books that you read - 21 A. No. 22 Q. -- that discuss the topic of the relationship 23 between diet and multiple sclerosis? 24 A. No, it was a long time ago, I don't recall. 25 Q. When you say, "it was a long time ago," when is VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 25
1 it that you read those articles or books? 2 A. Like I said, at the time I read some review 3 articles and, you know, topics, studies about this. 4 Q. What kind of diet is supposed to be helpful to 5 someone with multiple sclerosis? 6 A. Actually, there's no specific topic on that 7 area. I don't quite recall. But according to the 8 patient, she did well with the low carbohydrate and 9 low cholesterol diet. 10 Q. You said that diet-was one-way.-to help patients 11 with multiple sclerosis. 12 Is interferon another way? 13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And are steroids another way?
15 A. Yes. 16 Q. Are there other ways to help people with 17 multiple sclerosis? 18 A. There's another substance called copolymer. 19 Q. Is that polymer? 20 A. Copolymer. 21 Q. What is copolymer? 22 A. It is a chain of amino acids. 23 Q. How is that administered to the patient? 24 A. I think this substance -- I have no experience 25 using this substance. From what I have read is that
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1 you can give it subcutaneously. 2 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't hear the end of your answer. 3 A. Subcutaneously. 4 Q. Are you aware of any other ways of treating 5 persons with multiple sclerosis? 6 A. No. 7 Q. What is your knowledge about steroids, 8 copolymers, and interferon based on? 9 A. Some of the articles I read. 10 Q. When did you read these articles? ___ 11 A. I read these topics intermittently, so I don't 12 recall at this time. 13 Q. Are there specialists who are trained in 14 treating persons with multiple sclerosis? 15 A. I can't understand your question. 16 Q. Let me ask a different question. 17 Does multiple sclerosis come under some medical 18 specialty? 19 A. Well, we usually treat it under neurology. 20 Q. Aside from the referral to Dr. Pincus, did you 21 at later times also refer Ms. Leventhal to 22 neurologists? 23 A. Dr. Pincus had been following her, so I usually 24 refer her to Dr. Pincus. 25 Q. Do you know over what period of time Ms.
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1 Leventhal was treated or examined by Dr. Pincus? 2 A. I think that the first time is when I first met 3 her, that is in '93, and also he saw her in 1996, I 4 think. 5 Q. Since you mentioned the issue of diet, are there 6 nutritionists who are knowledgable about special 7 diets that can help people with multiple sclerosis? 8 A. I don't quite recall about it. 9 Q. Do you know who devised the diet that Ms. 10 LeventhalLused? 11 A. Her husband, Michael. 12 Q. Did you review the diet? 13 A. He just barely mentioned about what it consists 14 of.
15 Q. Do you remember what he mentioned it consists
16 of? 17 A. I don't recall.
Note: Again, Dr. Poon -- and rightly so -- understands that while he has a personal interest
in Multiple Sclerosis, he is not considered an "expert." Off the record, he views the diet
Mr. Leventhal has developed to have proven very successful in treating Caryl. 18 Q. If you look at the bottom of page M6, can you 19 just read the item one and then item two at the 20 bottom of the page? 21 A. What item? Item one is F E R R O-S E Q U E L S, 22 the second line is discuss treatment options, 23 including interferon, which is abbreviated as INF. 24 Q. What is Ferro-sequels? 25 A. Ferro-sequels is an iron supplement.
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1 Q. What is the significance of your notation there, 2 Ferro-sequels? 3 A. Because I note that on that particular time that 4 she have a mild anemia and in particular, she is low 5 in iron. 6 Q. Are you aware of any relationship between being 7 low in iron and symptoms of multiple sclerosis? 8 A. No. 9 Q. And then the last line on the page, it says, 10 patient decided to stay with, and then it seems to 11 be cut off. 12 Do you know what the patient decided to stay 13 with? 14 A. Oh, she decided to stay with the diet. 15 Q. So Ms. Leventhal told you she'd stay with the 16 diet after you told her of other treatment options?
Note: None of these other options were suggested for Ms. Leventhal. They were
offered as options in one of the many discussions about Multiple Sclerosis conducted
between Mr. Leventhal. They both agreed that the standard treatments for MS have
proven to be clinically disappointing. 17 A. Yes. 18 Q. If you turn your attention to page M8, is this a 19 record of Ms. Leventhal's visit with you on February 20 21, 1996? 21 A. Yes. 22 Q. Next to the letter S, you made certain 23 notations. 24 First, what does the letter S stand for? 25 A. Subjective. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 29
1 Q. Does that mean that those are the patient's 2 complaints to you? 3 A. Yes. 4 Q. Would you please just read what Ms. Leventhal's 5 complaints were at that time. 6 A. She had hearing difficulties. She changed job 7 due to job problem last summer. 8 Q. Did Ms. Leventhal discuss with you what that job 9 problem was? 10 A. I don't recall. 11 Q. At the time did you believe that her hearing 12 loss might be attributable to her MS? 13 A. I refer her to see an ENT specialist for 14 evaluation. 15 Q. Do you know what the ENT specialist concluded? 16 A. I think that he has a report -- maybe the page 17 is missing. I think he said that the ENT exam was 18 normal. 19 Q. Did you ever do any follow-up to find out what 20 caused Ms. Leventhal's complaint of hearing loss? 21 A. That is why I refer her to have a follow-up with 22 the neurology, Dr. Pincus. 23 Q. Do you know if Dr. Pincus reached any 24 conclusions about her complaint of hearing loss? 25 A. He mentioned that her multiple sclerosis is VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 30
1 stable. 2 Q. In February, '96, did you prescribe any 3 medications for Ms. Leventhal? 4 A. No, because at that time she decided she wanted 5 to stay with her diet. 6 Q. Did you discuss any other treatments options 7 with her in February, '96? 8 A. I thought at the time I refer her to the 9 neurologist to evaluate her first before we decided 10 to have the other treatment options: 11 Q. Do you know whether the neurologist, Dr. Pincus, 12 recommended any particular course of treatment for 13 her multiple sclerosis? 14 A. As I remember, he said that her disease is 15 stable, and he said that she would not need other 16 treatment at this stage.
Note: Again, it is notable that Dr. Poon has not reviewed Dr. Pincus' report for some
four years. During this deposition, he is not presented with any of Dr. Pincus's
evaluative information. He is responding out of memory. Since Dr. Poon has
thousands of patients, his immediate recall of something occurring some four years
ago is vague. This is exactly what the US Attorney wants to elicit certain responses. 17 Q. If you turn to the next page, page M9, again 18 under S, it says, had been under stress, feeling 19 numb, persistent headache, and then would you please 20 read the next line? 21 A. Occasional palpitations. 22 Q. Especially with respect to the notation had been 23 under stress, did Ms. Leventhal discuss with you the 24 source of her stress at that time? 25 A. She didn't particular mention about that area.
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1 Q. Are these notes a record of Ms. Leventhal's 2 visit to you on June 12, 1996? 3 A. Yes. 4 Q. And then turning your attention to the middle of 5 the page, there's a line that says stress-related 6 anxiety disorder. To the left of that, there's an 7 abbreviation. 8 What is that abbreviation? 9 A. MS, multiple sclerosis. 10 Q. -What about to the left of stress-related? 11 A. A and then dash P. 12 Q. What does that an for? 13 A. A stands for assessment and P stands for plan. 14 Q. As of June 12, '96, was it your opinion that Ms. 15 Leventhal might be suffering from a stress-related 16 anxiety disorder? 17 A. It's a possibility. 18 Q. What did you do to explore that possibility? 19 A. At that point I recommend that she should repeat 20 the MRI of the brain to see if there's any 21 exacerbation of multiple sclerosis, and also I think 22 that she will benefit by either psychotherapy or 23 psychology evaluation. 24 Q. What was it that caused you to think that Ms. 25 Leventhal may be suffering from a stress-related VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 32
1 anxiety disorder at that time? 2 A. By her symptoms. 3 Q. Just to be very clear, by her symptoms, would 4 you please state for the record what her symptoms 5 were at that time? 6 A. Because she's feeling low and also she said she 7 has occasional palpitations. These are the symptoms 8 of anxiety. 9 Q. Did you recommend her to a particular 10 psychotherapist? 11 A. I don't quite recall. 12 Q. Do you know whether Ms. Leventhal saw the 13 psychotherapist? 14 A. I don't know. 15 Q. Did you do any follow-up with respect to Ms. 16 Leventhal's psychotherapy? 17 A. I don't think that I did. 18 Q. Do you know whether Ms. Leventhal had the 19 additional MRI that you recommended? 20 A. Yeah, it was done. 21 Q. What did that MRI show? 22 A. It should say in the record. Yeah, it was on 23 Exhibit M14. 24 Q. M14 is an MRI report? 25 A. Yes. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 33
1 Q. Did you receive a copy of the report? 2 A. Yes. 3 Q. Did you consult with any neurologists about the 4 report? 5 A. She was referred to Dr. Pincus after this. 6 Q. Do you know whether Dr. Pincus came to any 7 conclusions as a result of the report? 8 A. That's what I mentioned before. He thought that 9 the patient's condition, that is multiple sclerosis, 10 was stable. 11 Q. And it was Dr. Pincus' view that her condition 12 was stable in June, 1996 as well? 13 A. Yes.
NOTE: DR. POON WAS RESPONDING FROM MEMORIES OF A FOUR YEAR OLD
REPORT THAT HE DID NOT HAVE IN FRONT OF HIM. DR. PINCUS'
SUBPOENAED MEDICAL RECORDS SHOWS SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
HE WROTE "SEEMS STABLE." IN MEDICAL TERMS, THIS MEANS THERE WAS
DETERIORATION BUT INSUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO DIAGNOSE A FULL SCALE
EXACERBATION AS YET. IN ADDITION, DR. PINCUS WRITES OF HER UNSTEADY
GATE (WALK), MEMORY LOSS, DEPRESSION AND OTHER DISTURBING SIGNS.
14 Q. In June, 1996, did you have a different view as 15 to the status of Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 16 A. I thought at that time that her condition has 17 been pretty stable. 18 Q. Turning to the next visit, which was one week 19 later on June 19, 1996, the second page of the 20 report records a visit on June 19, 1996, what was 21 the purpose of that visit just one week later? 22 A. It's the follow-up visit, because I want to make 23 sure that she has the MRI of the brain done. 24 Q. At the time of the follow-up visit, Ms. 25 Leventhal still did not have the MRI done, right?
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1 A. Yes. 2 Q. When you say that in June, 1996 it was Dr. 3 Pincus' view that Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis 4 was stable,is that based on a conversation that you 5 had with him? 6 A. I think that he also have a report, too.
[NOTE: Dr. Poon did not have this four year old
report in front of him] 7 Q. When it comes to the issue of multiple sclerosis 8 as it affected Ms. Leventhal, did you defer to Dr. 9 Pincus' expertise as a neurologist? 10 A. Yes. 11 Q. Then if you turn to the next page, page M10, is 12 this a record of Ms. Leventhal's visit to you on 13 July 20, 1996? 14 A. Yes. 15 Q. What was the purpose of that visit? 16 A. Follow-up visit. 17 Q. What did you conclude as a result of that 18 follow-up visit? 19 A. She had an MRI of the brain done on June 28, 20 '96. The report stated she had multiple sclerosis 21 involving the deep periventricular white matter and 22 corpusculum, and she was referred to Dr. Pincus, the 23 neurologist, for follow-up. 24 Q. At the July 20, 1996 visit, is that when you 25 reviewed the results of the June MRI? VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 35
1 A. Yes. 2 Q. Did that MRI show an exacerbation of Ms. 3 Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 4 A. I did not see my mentioning of that in the 5 report, and I believe the physician, the 6 neurologist, Dr. Pincus. 7 Q. Again, in July, 1996, what was Dr. Pincus' view 8 as to Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 9 A. Her condition was stable. [NOTE: Untrue, but how
was Dr. Poon to remember after four years] 10 Q. If you look at the bottom half of the page, is 11 that a record of Ms. Leventhal's October 26, 1996 12 visit to you? 13 A. Yes. 14 Q. What was the purpose of that visit? 15 A. I mention in this note that she came just to get 16 a flu vaccine. 17 Q. In these notes, if you look at five lines from 18 the bottom of the page, could you please read that 19 into the record. 20 A. Neurology report, which was issued on August 1, 21 '96, mentioned the multiple sclerosis stable, 22 possible depression. 23 Q. Was this a report prepared by Dr. Pincus? 24 A. Yes. 25 Q. If you turn to the next page, page M11, is this VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 36
1 a record of Ms. Leventhal's visits to you in 1997? 2 A. Yes. 3 Q. Were there any changes in her multiple sclerosis 4 in 1997? 5 A. At that time she, in particular, was in the 6 office because she's concerned about the findings in 7 her mammogram. 8 Q. Over the course of these two office visits in 9 1997, did you note any changes in the course of her 10 multiple-sclerosis? 11 A. Actually, she didn't mention any symptoms about 12 her multiple sclerosis. 13 Q. If you turn to the next page, page M12, are 14 those two entries records of Ms. Leventhal's visits 15 to you in the year 2000? 16 A. Yes. 17 Q. At both of those visits, you mention recommended 18 follow-up with a neurologist, right? 19 A. Yes. 20 Q. Why was it that you recommended follow-visits to 21 a neurologist after both of those visits? 22 A. Because on January 30, 2000, she mentioned that 23 she has short-term memory lapses, so I just want her 24 to see, to be followed by Dr. Pincus, the 25 neurologist, to decide whether this is related to
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1 her multiple sclerosis. 2 Q. During the year 2000, have you had any 3 discussions with Dr. Pincus about Ms. Leventhal's 4 multiple sclerosis? 5 A. No. 6 Q. Have you seen any documents from Dr. Pincus 7 concerning Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 8 A. No. 9 Q. At the bottom of page M12, line two, could you 10 please read item- two? - 11 A. Which line? 12 Q. The very last line before your signature. 13 A. That is the neurology follow-up as soon as 14 possible, ASAP. 15 Q. Why is it that as of February 13, 2000, you 16 thought that Ms. Leventhal should go for a neurology 17 follow-up as soon as possible? 18 A. Because, like I mention in the previous visit, 19 she was supposed to be followed by the neurologist 20 and so far I haven't seen any report from Dr. 21 Pincus, that's why I recommend that she should go 22 there to be evaluated as soon as possible. 23 Q. Also, on February 13, 2000, next to the S, it 24 says non-compliant with diet. 25 Did Ms. Leventhal tell that you she was not
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1 complying with her diet at this time? 2 A. Yes, particular some of this information are 3 from her husband, Michael.
Note: In point of fact, Caryl had gained a few pounds and Michael was gently chiding her
in front of Dr. Poon. It was a friendly, off the records conversation not meant to be of
a clinical nature. Michael Leventhal and Dr. Poon have an excellent relationship and
the conversation was more in the spirit of being a light hearted nudge for Caryl to lose
the weight. But a deposition is designed to provide prejudicial information and the
US Attorney is attempting to twist something that was fundamentally innocent and innocuous
in nature. 4 Q. Dr. Poon, I will show you what previously has 5 been marked as Defendant's Exhibit P. 6 Do you recognize this document? 7 A. Yes. 8 Q. Is that your signature at the bottom? 9 A. Yes. 10 Q. And you signed it on February 13, 2000? 11 A. Yes. 12 Q. That's the same date as Ms. Leventhal's -- 13 that's the same date that Ms. Leventhal visited your 14 office? 15 A. Yes. 16 Q. You mentioned that Ms. Leventhal's husband told 17 you that Ms. Leventhal was not complying with her 18 diet? 19 A. Yes. 20 Q. Did Mr. Leventhal tell you anything else about 21 Ms. Leventhal's condition at that February 13, 2000 22 visit? 23 A. I don't recall. 24 Q. Do you know who prepared this one-page document 25 that's been marked as Defendant's Exhibit P?
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1 A. It was written by her husband, Michael, and I 2 personally examined this statement before I signed 3 it. 4 Q. Do you agree with the statement? 5 A. Yes. 6 Q. And if you look at the paragraph that begins, 7 since I have been treating Ms. Leventhal -- let me 8 read that into the record. 9 Since I have been treating Ms. Leventhal, she 10 has-had two acute-exacerbations of multiple 11 sclerosis. The first was in June, 1995, the second 12 was diagnosed on June 12, 1996. 13 First, with respect to the exacerbation of 14 multiple sclerosis in June of 1995, did you 15 personally examine Ms. Leventhal in connection with 16 that claimed exacerbation? 17 A. It was from her husband's information. The 18 second one, like in the record, it is the first 19 visit that she came back after a couple of years. 20 Q. Well, first focusing on the June, 1995 period, 21 you did not personally examine Ms. Leventhal in 22 June, 1995; is that correct? 23 A. Yes. 24 Q. Do you know whether any doctor examined her in 25 June, 1995 and came to some conclusion about her
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1 multiple sclerosis? 2 A. I have no knowledge. 3 Q. And the basis for the statement, the first was 4 in June of 1995, is information that Mr. Leventhal 5 told you; is that correct? 6 A. Yes. 7 Q. The next line, the second was diagnosed on June 8 12, 1996, did you examine Ms. Leventhal in 9 connection with her multiple sclerosis on June 12, 10 1996? 11 A. Like I had mentioned, this condition was 12 referred to the neurologist for further evaluation. 13 Q. And at that time the neurologist the neurologist 14 concluded that Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis 15 was stable, correct? 16 A. That was from his report. 17 Q. Do you disagree with his report? 18 A. Which report? 19 Q. You just mentioned that the neurologist reported 20 that Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis was stable. 21 Do you agree with the neurologist's conclusion? 22 A. He's a specialist, he have more, you know, 23 knowledge than I do. 24 Q. The next sentence says, "during both of these 25 exacerbations, she displayed symptoms of stress."
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1 The first exacerbation, June of 1995, what 2 symptoms of stress did Ms. Leventhal exhibit? 3 A. The June, 1995? 4 Q. Yes. 5 A. I just mentioned to you at the time that this 6 information was obtained from her husband, Mr. 7 Leventhal. 8 Q. Did Mr. Leventhal tell you what symptoms of 9 stress Miss Leventhal showed in June, 1995? 10 A. He-did not go into specifics. 11 Q. And then with respect to the June, 1996 12 diagnosis, what symptoms of stress did Ms. Leventhal 13 show? 14 A. It was in that exhibit, in June 12, 1996, the 15 patient complain about she's feeling low and getting 16 palpitations. 17 Q. And those were both symptoms of stress? 18 A. Yes. 19 Q. Then if you turn to the next paragraph in the 20 report, Defendant's Exhibit P, "it is my opinion 21 that in Caryl Leventhal's case, a high level of 22 stress is a contributing factor in exacerbating her 23 multiple sclerosis." 24 Do you know what, if anything, caused Ms. 25 Leventhal's high level of stress?
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1 A. For that date, she did not go into details. 2 Q. Do you have any idea as to what caused her high 3 levels of stress? 4 A. She just mentioned that she has some job 5 problem, like what I mentioned in my record. 6 Q. When you say that stress or a high level of 7 stress is a contributing factor to multiple 8 sclerosis, what is that based on? 9 A. Well, from some of the articles I read, they 10 claim that stress can be a contributing factor in 11 exacerbation of multiple sclerosis. 12 Q. Do you remember the names of any of those 13 articles that you read? 14 A. I don't recall. 15 Q. Did you have any discussions with Dr. Pincus as 16 to whether Ms. Leventhal's stress level could be a 17 contributing factor to her multiple sclerosis? 18 A. He just mentioned to me that the condition is 19 stable at that stage. 20 Q. The articles and studies that you mentioned that 21 find possible links between stress and multiple 22 sclerosis, do they distinguish between different 23 kinds of stress? 24 A. I don't recall. 25 Q. Is it your professional opinion that a high
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1 level of stress can be a contributing factor to 2 multiple sclerosis? 3 MR. BRESSLER: Objection to the form. 4 Contributing to multiple sclerosis? 5 Q. Is it your professional opinion that a 6 high level of stress is a contributing factor in 7 exacerbating multiple sclerosis? 8 A. It's a strong possibility. 9 Q. Again, did you discuss this theory with Dr. 10 Pincus?
A. No. I don't recall. Q. You don't recall? A. Yes.
Note: Again, Dr. Poon is looking at limited notes from four years past. But the US Attorney
is skillfully developing testimony he can manipulate.
14 Q. Did you discuss it with any other neurologist? 15 A. I don't recall. 16 Q. Did you consult with any neurologists about the 17 possible links between stress and exacerbation of 18 multiple sclerosis? 19 A. I don't remember. 20 Q. Is there something that would help you remember, 21 some document or note that you could look at? 22 A. No, I don't recall. 23 Q. If I asked you this previously, I apologize. 24 Aside from interferon, steroids, and diet, are 25 there any other ways that you're aware of for VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 44
treating the symptoms of multiple sclerosis? A. I don't recall. _ Q. Do you know of any?
4 A. Like what I just mentioned, the major course of 5 treatment right now is FDA approved is interferon. 6 Q. Did Ms. Leventhal ever have interferon treatment 7 for her multiple sclerosis? 8 A. I don't recall.
Note: Dr. Poon sees where this is going and realizes the US Attorney's strategy. Apparently,
is is not going to play his game anymore. 9 Q. As a doctor, do you have an opinion as to 10 whether she should have tried that course of 11 treatment? 12 A. It is a possibility, yes. 13 Q. Is it a possibility that you believe Ms. 14 Leventhal should have explored? 15 A. It's a treatment option. 16 Q. The question is: Is it an option that you 17 recommend that she pursue? 18 A. Yes.
Note: This was a mistake from a dedicated physician where English is his second
language. In point of fact, Dr. Poon always felt that Ms. Leventhal should approach
chemical treatments only as a last resort. 19 Q. Are you aware that the subject of this lawsuit
20 is employment discrimination? 21 A. I don't remember she mentioned too much specific 22 about this topic. 23 Q. Have you had any conversations with Miss 24 Leventhal about this lawsuit? 25 A. Very minimum. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 45
1 Q. What did she tell you about the lawsuit? 2 A. She just said that she has some job problem. 3 Q. Did she tell you what the problems were? 4 A. Not specific. 5 Q. Did you have any conversations with Mr. 6 Leventhal about this lawsuit? 7 A. It only happened, if I recall, only just 8 recently when I received a letter from your office 9 that I recognized that there's a lawsuit involving 10 this case. 11 Q. And after you received that letter from my 12 office, did you have a conversation with Mr. 13 Leventhal? 14 A. Yes. 15 Q. What did Mr. Leventhal tell you in that 16 conversation? 17 A. He said there's a lawsuit brought about related 18 to her job. 19 Q. Did he tell you anything else? 20 A. I don't recall too many specifics. 21 Q. Did you discuss with Mr. Leventhal the fact that 22 you were being asked to come here and have your 23 deposition taken today? 24 A. Yes. 25 Q. What did you discuss about your deposition with VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 46
1 Mr. Leventhal? 2 A. I didn't mention any specific, I just asked him 3 what is this lawsuit is about and why I have to come 4 here. 5 Q. When you asked Mr. Leventhal what this lawsuit 6 is about, what did he tell you? 7 A. He said this is about Mrs. Leventhal's job 8 situation at the time, and since I'm the treating, 9 you know, physician, so he said that I may need to 10 testify. 11 Q. Did you have any conversations with Mr. Bressler 12 about this lawsuit? 13 A. I don't know him until today. 14 Q. Do you have any medical opinions that relate to 15 this lawsuit that are not contained in Defendant's 16 Exhibit P? 17 A. I think that, like what this report showed, that 18 I have been treating her since 1993, which the 19 medical record show, and also that one of the time 20 that she has this condition and maybe it exacerbates 21 was in June, '96. 22 Q. Again, you mentioned the exacerbation in June, 23 1996. 24 A. I said it's a possibility, because ,I leave the 25 evaluation to Dr. Pincus, the neurologist.
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1 Q. Are you aware of any doctor who concluded that 2 Ms. Leventhal was suffering an exacerbation of her 3 multiple sclerosis in June, 1996? 4 A. I leave the whole decision to Dr. Pincus. 5 Q. Have you ever had your deposition taken before? 6 A. Once. 7 Q. When was that? 8 A. That was -- I don't recall, it was several years 9 ago. 10 Q . What was that for? 11 - A. That was about a urologist case. 12 Q. Was that a malpractice action against a 13 urologist? 14 A. Yes. 15 Q. Were you an expert witness in that case? 16 A. No, I was just required to testify. 17 Q. What was the subject of your testimony? Why is 18 it that you had to testify in that case? 19 A. Because at the time I did the history and 20 physical on the patient during the admission. 21 Q. Aside from that one occasion, have you ever 22 testified at a deposition before? 23 A. No. 24 Q. Have you ever testified in court before? 25 A. No. VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 48
1 Q. How were Ms. Leventhal's visits to you paid for? 2 A. By her insurance. 3 Q. Are you being paid for your time here today? 4 A. No. I want to know why. 5 Q. Have you been asked to serve as an expert 6 witness in this case? 7 A. No. 8 MR. FISHER: Why don't we take a very short break 9 and, Dr. Poon, I should be able to wrap up 10 very quickly after I come back. -,
11 (Whereupon a break was taken.) 12 Q. Dr. Poon, your views about Ms. 13 Leventhal's multiple sclerosis are based on the MRI 14 results; is that right? 15 A. And also from the neurologist, Dr. Pincus. 16 Q. Are your conclusions about her multiple 17 sclerosis based on anything else aside from 18 information provided by Dr. Pincus and the MRI 19 results? 20 A. Dr. Pincus is a neurologist, he has more 21 expertise in this area than I do. 22 Q. I'm not clear on whether or not you had -- did 23 you have conversations with Dr. Pincus about Ms.
24 Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 25 A. I mentioned to you that he send me a report VERITEXT (212) 267-6868 (516) 608-2400 49
1 about the time after he saw her. 2 Q. Aside from the report that he sent you, do you 3 recall anything else that he sent you that related 4 to Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 5 A. I don't recall. 6 Q. Did you have any conversations with him about 7 Ms. Leventhal's multiple sclerosis? 8 A. I don't remember. 9 MR. FISHER: Dr. Poon, I thank you for your time, 10 and I have-ho-further questions. 11 (TIME NOTED: 11:48 a.m.) 12 (Signature of witness) 13 Subscribed and sworn to 14 before me this
15 day of ........
16 2000. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
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Commentary and Editor's Notes written and Copyright © by: LTC Michael G. Leventhal
Copyright 2000 Reproduction with written permission. Contact: Michael @Justice-Denied.net