Nurse Qualified To Testify As Medical Malpractice Expert Witness

In the recent case of Freed v. Geisinger Medical Center, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a nurse was qualified to testify as a medical malpractice expert witness. The ruling overturned a prior decision by the Court of Common Pleas, which had disallowed the testimony, stating that a nurse is not qualified to give a medical diagnosis. In this medical malpractice case, allegations of substandard care were leveled against the nursing staff at a rehabilitation hospital where the plaintiff, Rodger Freed, was being given rehabilitative treatment for a spinal cord injury that left him a paraplegic.

The state Supreme Court stated that to qualify as an expert witness in a given field, a person needs only to “possess greater expertise than is within the ordinary range of training, knowledge, intelligence, or experience.” This ruling means that in cases where nursing care standards are breached, and that breach causes an injury, a nurse can testify to the causes of that injury.

Excerpted from