Amednews.com reports on Maryland’s requirements for medical expert witnesses:
Maryland’s highest court upheld a tort reform measure requiring certain qualifications for expert witnesses in medical liability cases, a move physicians say will prevent plaintiffs from using so-called “hired guns” to bolster meritless lawsuits. The high court noted that its interpretation fell in line with other states with similar restrictions on expert witnesses, pointing to decisions in Kansas, North Carolina and Ohio.
Justices reversed a 2008 appeals court ruling allowing a French interventional neuroradiologist, Dr. Gerard Debrun, to testify as a plaintiff expert witness, though he had not practiced or seen patients since retiring in 2001, and most of his income came from serving as an expert witness. Appellate judges found that a majority of Dr. Debrun’s time was spent on other activities that were related to his field, including peer reviewing medical journals, reading, attending conferences and observing procedures.
The high court disagreed. While Dr. Debrun’s peer review work qualified as a professional activity and contributed to the medical field, the remainder of his pursuits were undertaken for “personal or leisurely reasons” and did not involve his active participation, justices said.
For more, see amednews.com.