A Florida Court has again stricken the use of the MMPI‑2‑RF Fake Bad Scale as well as the “Slick” diagnostic criteria for malingered cognitive dysfunction.

As readers of this blog will recall, the Fake Bad Scale was designed by Paul Lees Haley, Ph.D. The Slick diagnostic criteria were developed by D.J. Slick. He and his colleagues proposed a set of diagnostic criteria that defines psycho metric, behavioral, and collateral data indicative of possible, probable and definitive malingering of cognitive dysfunction for use in clinical practice and for defining populations for clinical research.  (See Diagnostic Criteria for Malingered Neuro Cognitive Dysfunction:  Proposed Standards for Clinical Practice and Research.  Slick DJ, Sherman EM, Iverson GL. Clin Neuro Psychol 1999 Nov.; 13(4):545‑61. 

In the matter of McGann v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., Case Number 2011-CA- 781, (Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Osceola Cty, Fl.), plaintiff moved to strike the testimony of defendants CME psychologist, Laurence Levine, Ph.D.  In particular, plaintiff sought to preclude the testimony of Dr. Levine in regard to the MMPI-2‑RF‑Bad Scale (“FBS”) testing and his use of the Slick criteria, and opinions that the plaintiff was malingering and or exaggerating his symptoms. 

Pursuant to the new standard adopted in Florida, the court conducted Daubert hearings over three days and reviewed the testimony from several experts and reviewed filed articles and affidavits.

The court found:

“[T]he FBS and Slick criteria are unreliable, generally unaccepted in the scientific community and are not objective measurements of malingering, exaggerating or over reporting of symptoms.  Their probative value is outweighed by the prejudicial impact.  Finally, the court holds the testimony in question invades the province of the jury as to determination of witness credibility.”

The court then ordered and adjudged that Dr. Levine was precluded from making any reference to FBS testing and Slick criteria as evidence of malingering, exaggeration or over reporting of symptoms, both in general and with respect to the plaintiff, and precluded Dr. Levine from offering any opinions on causation of the plaintiff’s complaints/injuries to the accident.