Issues: Medical malpractice; Teal v. Prasad; Expert testimony; MRE 702; MCL 600.2169; Kalaj v. Khan; Edry v. Adelman; Decker v. Flood; Howard v. Zamorano (Unpub.); Meyers v. Ciullo (Unpub.); Trial judge's role as gatekeeper to ensure that scientific testimony or evidence admitted is relevant and reliable; MCL 600.2955(1); Gilbert v. DaimlerChrysler Corp.; Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc.; Craig ex rel Craig v. Oakwood Hosp.; "Standard of care"; MCL 600.2912a(1)(b); Wiley v. Henry Ford Cottage Hosp.; Turbin v. Graesser
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: Lewis v. Yancy
e-Journal Number: 57818
Judge(s): Per Curiam - Stephens, Saad, and Boonstra
The court held that the trial court did not err in granting a directed verdict for the defendants-doctor (Yancy) and medical practice in plaintiff's action for medical malpractice. The trial court ruled that "(1) defendants were not given sufficient notice of the allegations against which they would be defending, (2) there was insufficient evidence of causation, and (3) the testimony of [plaintiff's] expert lacked the support of sufficient facts and reliable methods, particularly in regard to the standard of care." On appeal, the court agreed with defendants that plaintiff's expert failed to provide reliable testimony as to the applicable standard of care, noting that, "when specifically asked for the basis of his opinions in this case, he could not point to any supporting authority, either in peer-reviewed literature, case studies, or even in the recommendations of the manufacturers of the device in question." It concluded that, "[g]iven the lack of supporting literature, combined with the lack of any other support for [the expert's] opinion regarding the standard of care, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding [the expert's] opinion regarding the standard of care to be unreliable within the meaning of MRE 702." As to the expert's qualifications for purposes of MCL 600.2169(1)(b), "the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding [plaintiff's expert] qualified as an expert because he devotes a majority of his time to Dr. Yancy's specialty, namely, general obstetrics and gynecology." However, the court agreed with defendants that "he lacked the requisite 'knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education' to qualify as an expert pursuant to MRE 702 and, as such, the trial court erred in declining to strike his testimony before trial." He had never performed the procedure at issue and had "received only minimal instruction" on the topic. Thus, the court concluded that, because plaintiff's expert "did not provide reliable testimony on the applicable standard of care," the trial court did not err in granting a directed verdict on this basis. Affirmed.
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