Expert Witness Selection In Truck Accidents

In these two medical malpractice cases the court has addressed the issue of plaintiff’s hiring of the appropriate expert to be presented to a jury on the specific issue of malpractice alleged committed by different doctors.  New Jersey law, specifically for medical malpractice cases required that the doctor proffered by a plaintiff or defendant, be appropriately qualified in the specific medical specialty, have hospital privileges, and be an ongoing clinical treating doctor for a time prior to issuing the report.  Truck accidents always, always, always require accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, economic experts, and possibly ‘human factors’ experts.  We have knowledge of and access to these experts to help determine the full nature and extend of your injuries, economic loss, and other possible issues which may arise during the development of your case.  


29-3-1389 Camacho-Gardner v. Rubenstein, Law Div.  In this medical malpractice action, defendant-doctors, both neonatologists who were involved in the infant-decedent’s care, challenge the sufficiency of plaintiffs’ expert neonatologist on the grounds that since he retired before the alleged malpractice, he did not specialize” at the time of the occurrence”  in the same specialty as moving defendants and he cannot meet the other requirements of the Patients First Act. The court holds that the expert fails to meet the requirements of N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-41(a)(1) because he was no longer practicing at St. John’s Hospital at the time of the occurrence and that facility was closed at that time and thus he is not credentialed and was not at the time of the occurrence under the statute. Further, the expert cannot satisfy N.J.S.A. 53A-41(a)(2)(a) because he did not devote a majority of his professional time to the clinical practice of neonatology in the year preceding the occurrence or -41(a)(2)(b) because although he was teaching at the time of the occurrence, he was only teaching physicians assistants, which does not satisfy the requirement that the expert be instructing students in the same health care profession in which the defendant is licensed. The court bars plaintiff’s expert from testifying. It gives plaintiffs 15 days within which to move to vacate the dismissal and to extend the discovery end date to procure a new expert and have him render his report and have his deposition taken. [Filed September 19, 2013]


29-3-1391 Halper v. St. Barnabas Hospital, Law Div. (Essex County) (Vena, J.S.C.) (9 pp.) The court denies defendants’ motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of this medical malpractice action for plaintiff’s alleged failure to provide an expert report by an appropriately qualified physician. The court holds that where, as here, the respective physicians are equivalently credentialed in the medical specialty or specialties in which the alleged maltreatment actually occurred, the fact that defendant-doctor may have an additional subspecialty not shared by plaintiff’s expert is immaterial to the expert’s ability to opine on the appropriate standard of care owed in the area in which both doctors are equivalently qualified. [Filed September 12, 2013]


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