Thursday, May 5, 2016

Superior Court Rules That Orthopedist Can Serve As Expert in Med Mal Action Against a Podiatrist

In its recent decision in the case of Price v. Catanzariti, No. 1886 WDA 2014, 2016 Pa. Super. 26 (Pa. Super. March 30, 2016 Ford, Elliot, Musmanno, Bowes, JJ.) (Op. by Ford Elliot, P.J.E.)(Concurring and Dissenting Op. by Bowes, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that an orthopedic surgeon may serve as an expert in a case where the Defendant is a podiatrist in a medical malpractice action.  

The court ruled that an orthopedic surgeon, even one who has not practiced in several years, has the specialized knowledge sufficient to enable the expert to testify on issues pertaining to podiatric surgery.   Therefore, the court found that the Plaintiff’s expert witness was qualified to testify such that the compulsory non-suit entered by the trial court below would be reversed.

In its decision, the Superior Court noted that the portions of the MCARE Act pertaining to expert qualifications only applies to physicians and, therefore, not podiatrists.   Since the Defendant in this matter was a podiatrist, the MCARE Act was found to be inapplicable and the qualifications for expert witness were to be judged under the more lenient standards set forth under common law pertaining to qualified experts.  

The Majority Opinion by Judge Ford Elliott can be read HERE.

Judge Bowes Concurring and Dissenting Opinion can be read HERE

I send thanks to Attorney James Beck of the Philadelphia office of Reid Smith and the writer of the notable legal blog, The DRUG AND DEVICE LAW BLOG.     

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