Expert testimony is an essential component of medical malpractice cases. In other words, as the standard of care that applies to medical professionals and the duties imposed under the standard are beyond the purview of most jurors, parties need medical experts to clarify the issues and support their claims. Parties must disclose their experts prior to trial to allow the opposing party to fully assess their opinions and offer a response, and if they do not, they run the risk that their expert will not be permitted to testify. In a recent ruling issued in a dental malpractice case, a Maryland court addressed when it is appropriate to strike an expert. If you were harmed by the carelessness of a dentist or other healthcare provider it is important to talk to a Maryland medical malpractice attorney about what evidence you must produce to recover damages.
The Facts of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff suffered harm due to incompetent dental care provided by the defendant. She subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against him asserting dental malpractice claims. The court established discovery deadlines, including a date by which the parties must set provide expert disclosures. The defendant failed to abide by the expert disclosure deadline, and instead produced an expert report that was over a month late. The plaintiff then moved to strike the defendant’s expert.
Grounds for Striking an Expert in a Medical Malpractice Case
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure dictate that parties must disclose the experts they intend to call at trial in a timely manner. Further, when they disclose their experts they must offer a written report setting forth a comprehensive statement of all of the opinions the witness will provide and the reasons and basis for each opinion The report must also include the data or facts the witness relied on in formulating its report, and identify any exhibits they will use to support or summarize their opinion.
Expert disclosures must be made at least ninety days before trial or by the date established by the court. The failure to abide by the disclosure deadlines can result in sanctions. Specifically, a party may be precluded from offering expert testimony if they miss the disclosure deadline unless they can show the failure was harmless or substantially justified. Here, the court noted that the defendant’s disclosure of his expert was untimely and that he provided no valid reason for the delay. Thus, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion.
Consult a Seasoned Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney
While in some cases medical malpractice is clear to people without any medical training, in most instances testimony from a medical expert is needed to establish harm caused by incompetent care. If you were injured by a careless physician or dentist, you could be owed damages for medical negligence and it is in your best interest to consult an attorney. The seasoned Maryland attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and experience needed to hold negligent practitioners accountable, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We can be contacted through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.