Emergency Medicine Expert Witness Testimony Allowed in Wrongful Death Action

Emergency Medicine Expert Witness was allowed to provide testimony despite the defendant’s argument that he was not familiar with the standard of care of emergency physicians.

Facts: This case (Goode v. The City of Southaven, et al. – United States District Court – Northern District of Mississippi – September 27th, 2018) involves a wrongful death claim.  The plaintiff filed an action against the defendants for the wrongful death of her husband.  In order to assist her with the claim, the plaintiff hired Emergency Medicine Expert Witness Mark Fowler, J.D., M.D to provide testimony.  The defendant has filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of. Dr. Fowler.

Discussion:  Fowler is a licensed, practicing physician with experience in emergency medicine and a board certification in family medicine.  Fowler, in his report, opined that the defendants did not meet the applicable standard of care and were negligent on numerous grounds.  Fowler states that he relied on his education and experience with a particular emphasis on emergency care.  He also opines that failure to monitor Mr. Goode’s heart and breathing was a serious breach of the applicable standard of care.  For these opinions, Fowler relied on his education and experience as well as regulations advanced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The defendants argue that Fowler’s testimony should be excluded because he does not claim or express familiarity with the standard of care in his expert reports.  In addition, they argue that he last practiced in an emergency department over two years prior to this incident.

The defendants argue that Fowler does not qualify to render opinions against any or all medical or nursing personnel involved in this case.  The plaintiff states that Fowler has extensive experience in emergency room settings, which includes that standard of care for nurses providing emergency care and treatment.

The court opines that Fowler is qualified to offer an opinion in this case.  The court notes that Fowler is licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee and is board certified in family medicine..  In addition, he practices emergency medicine in some capacity from July 2000 to April 2013.  Based on this information, the court opines that Fowler is more than qualified to offer his expert opinion that there was a breach in the standard of care in this case.

Regarding the two-year gap in Fowler’s work in an emergency room setting, the court notes that the defendant does not cite any law in support in support of its proposition.  The court continues by stating that the defendant has produced no evidence to suggest that the field of emergency medicine has changed greatly in the preceding two years.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Mark Fowler, J.D., M.D. is denied.