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North Carolina Medical Malpractice Case Appealed: Expert Witnesses


Posted on Apr 23, 2013

north carolina medical malpracticeIn April 2013, the North Carolina Court of Appeals moved forward with a decision that affects medical malpractice cases. The court's decision was in response to a medical malpractice claim against a Duke University surgeon.

One of the biggest challenges in medical malpractice lawsuits is illustrating an acceptable "standard of care." There are no federal guidelines to establish this requirement, which make finding the right expert witnesses such a difficult process. The Duke medical malpractice claim involves a surgery that occurred almost a decade ago. The case was dismissed in 2011 when the court cited sufficient expert witnesses were not provided to adequately establish a standard of care. This month, nearly two years later, the NC Court of Appeals unanimously appealed the case and it is now moving toward trial.

The decision was made based on the information the expert witness had provided. Initially, a judge had deemed the expert witness failed to provide enough information. The NC Court of Appeals has set a standard for the state by appealing the case and showing what is acceptable information provided by expert witnesses for a trial.

Our medical malpractice lawyers in Raleigh learned about the victim's alleged Duke medical malpractice claim several years ago. The case involves patient Jeffrey Higginbotham. Higginbotham underwent a surgery to remove one of his ribs that was causing pressure and pain on a nerve traveling to his arm. No post-surgical improvement occurred and he filed a medical malpractice suit as a result.

The claim is against Chief of Endosurgery Thomas D'Amico, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon at Duke voted Best Doctor of 2011-2012.

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