Expert Qualifications Opinion in Pennsylvania Malpractice Lawsuit

One difficult issue medical malpractice lawyers in Pennsylvania, and all over the country, have is finding medical experts willing to testify against another doctor who has negligently injured a patient. The doctor has to be: (1) real world qualified, someone who the lawyer believes can speak to the issue authoritatively; (2) qualified in the eyes of the court; and (3) have the ability to effectively communicate all of this to a jury.

A Pennsylvania Superior Court found that in a recent opinion that plaintiff’s malpractice lawyers did not meet the second prong of the test in a case involving a man who suffered a severe hematoma that formed outside an arterial wall of his brachial artery. After surgery to repair the condition, he lost the strength in his grip, and suffered nerve damage. The ER doctors are named in the malpractice lawsuit because the patient kept calling and returning to the ER but did not get appropriate follow-up care.

Plaintiff’s malpractice lawyer submitted a certificate of merit from a neurologist and surgeon at Allegheny University Hospital and Temple University Hospital. But the court found that while the expert was a qualified neurosurgeon, he had insufficient training to testify about emergency room procedures.

Tough loss for Plaintiff.