Starnes Davis Florie


Starnes Davis Florie Lawyers Secure Appellate Reversal & Rendering of Adverse Malpractice Verdict

April 22, 2013

The Alabama Supreme Court recently reversed and rendered an adverse judgment in favor of a board certified family practitioner represented by SDF. The case was defended at trial by Bob MacKenzie and John McCall. Sybil Newton handled the appeal. The Plaintiff alleged the family practitioner failed to properly remove the placenta during a cesarean. At trial, the Plaintiff offered the testimony of a board certified OB/GYN as an expert witness. MacKenzie and McCall objected to the admissibility of his testimony in that he was not ‘similarly-situated’ to the family practice physician under Ala. Code 6-5-548(c). The lower court allowed the OB/GYN to testify and thereafter the jury returned an adverse verdict against the family practitioner. The Alabama Supreme Court held that it was undisputed that the treatment of the Plaintiff fell within the purview of a board certified family practitioner so Ala. Code 6-5-548(c) did apply. As the Plaintiff’s expert was board certified in OB/GYN and not family practice, the lower court erred in allowing him to testify as to the standard of care applicable to a board certified family practitioner. The Court stated, “The fact that there is some overlap or commonality in the practice of a board-certified family practitioner and a board-certified Ob-Gyn (i.e., that both were trained to perform C-sections) is irrelevant.” The adverse judgment was reversed and rendered in favor of the physician.

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