Case Law Update: Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In Downey v. Dunnington, the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s holding.
The court reasoned that, although the trial court erred when it refused to allow plaintiff’s attorney to cross examine defendant’s expert with regards to authoritative article and overruled objection to admission of testimony that defendant, the surgeon’s father is a member of the clergy, it was harmless error in plaintiff’s trial for medical malpractice alleging that she received prophylactic double mastectomy without genetic testing to confirm predisposition to breast cancer. Further, it was not error for trial court to refuse to allow authoritative treatises to be published to the jury; or to allow defense to use plaintiff’s deposition to impeach her. In addition, verdict in favor of defendants is not against the manifest weight of the evidence, as jury was free to believe defense expert and not plaintiff’s.

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