Thursday, February 18, 2010

Georgia Supreme Court Allows Demand for Med Mal Expert's Own Record of Treatment in Similar Case

In a prior post, it was suggested that the plaintiff expert produce 4 or 5 of his own records on similar case to verify his actual compliance with the proposed standard of care. Any demand for defense expert records should be resisted for the reasons listed in that post. Here.

Click on the title of this post to read the entire review of this decision. And the Condra decision here.

"Consistent with the law in effect at the time, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling excluding the personal practice evidence. However, following Condra, the Georgia Supreme Court remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals to reconsider in light of that decision. Upon reconsideration, the Court of Appeals found that the same reasoning employed by the Supreme Court in Condra would apply to any case where evidence of the physician's personal practices could be construed by the jury as calling into question the credibility of the physician's testimony at trial, irrespective of whether the physician was a standard of care expert. In other words, “evidence that [the treating physician] routinely took the same precaution to guard against infection that he now claimed would not have made a difference in the present case arguably called into question the credibility of such a claim.” Concluding that the exclusion of evidence of the treating physician’s personal practice undermined the jury's ability to fully evaluate his credibility and deprived plaintiff of her substantial right to a thorough and sifting cross-examination, the Court of Appeals ordered a new trial where such evidence would be admissible."

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