Most doctors undergo training for their specialty and have little experience working in other areas. This does not mean that a doctor can only offer expert testimony in medical cases involving the precise area of their practice, however. Instead, as shown in a recent New York opinion, a doctor can offer expert testimony outside of their field if they are otherwise qualified. If you were hurt by a negligent doctor, it is in your best interest to speak to a Syracuse medical malpractice lawyer about what evidence you need to produce to demonstrate liability.
The Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the decedent, who was 61 years old, presented to the emergency department of the defendant hospital with complaints of shortness of breath. He underwent a chest x-ray and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The radiologist that interpreted his chest x-ray noted that he had a normal-sized heart, and his lungs showed mild bibasilar interstitial prominence. He was subsequently discharged with a prescription for antibiotics and a directive to follow up with his primary care doctor.
Reportedly, he underwent a second chest x-ray that showed his heart was at the upper limit of normal, and his lungs were clear. He continued to suffer from chest pain and shortness of breath. Approximately six months later, he died from systolic heart failure and dilated cardiomyopathy. His wife then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and the radiologists who interpreted his chest x-rays. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff’s experts were not qualified to offer opinions on the standard of care that applied to radiologists. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed. Continue reading