As a typical case where divorced parents who will have the courts decide if their child will be vaccinated was adjourned Thursday. The judge ruled that an expert witness called to testify doesn't qualify as an expert in immunizations or their possible adverse effects. This caused dismay with the expert witness, Bark whom labelled the court as a "monkey court"
Oakland Circuit Judge Karen McDonald, who sent an Oakland County mother to jail last week because she didn't comply with her order to have her son vaccinated, is hearing a similar case involving Lori Ann Matheson and her ex-husband, Michael Schmitt. Matheson, of Walled Lake, objects to vaccinations on religious and medical grounds, and wants time to have their 2-year-old daughter undergo genetic testing to determine if she has a medical condition that could be triggered by being vaccinated.
Matheson stated her case Monday before McDonald, and brought in Chicago-based expert witness, Toni Bark, M.D. on Thursday. Taking the stand to answer questions about her background and qualifications as an expert witness, Bark said she administered thousands of vaccinations during her years as a pediatrician and in later years treated people suffering from health consequences because of them, and has testified as a qualified expert in federal 'vaccine court' and before senate subcommittees.
Schmitt's attorney, Paul Schoenbeck, objected to Bark being accepted as an expert witness for vaccines, which McDonald agreed with admitting her as an expert witness as a surgeon/general physician only.
McDonald said Bark can testify about experiences "with her own patients...she's not qualified as an expert in immunization."
McDonald also said adjourning the proceedings will give Schoenbeck time to locate his own expert witness to stand against Bark, as well as time to prepare to cross examine her since he was just notified Tuesday about her being called.
After the hearing, Bark said she was "dumbfounded" by McDonald's ruling.
"It was a monkey court. I've never seen anything like that," she said. "So now pediatricians and general doctors who administer vaccines don't know enough to talk about them?"
Schoenbeck said he hasn't decided if he'll bring in an expert witness when the case continues, but declined further comment. Matheson and her attorney, Amy Ruby, also declined comment. The next court hearing is scheduled for November 14th.