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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Expert Need Not Phrase Opinion in Perfect Legalese to Create Question of Fact for the Jury to Decide

The Tennessee Court of Appeals released its opinion in Dickson v. Kriger, No. W2013-02830-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 30, 2014) in late December 2014.  This is an important opinion in that it holds that an expert need not use perfect legalese or "magic words" to be qualified to give opinions on the standard of care and causation in a health care liability action, which creates questions of fact for the jury to decide.  As such, the Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed a directed verdict in favor of the defense.

The summary from the opinion states as follows:
Patient brought a health care liability action against his eye surgeon, alleging that the surgeon’s negligence in performing a LASIK procedure resulted in several eye injuries. The trial court granted a directed verdict for the surgeon, finding the patient failed to present evidence establishing the standard of care and causation. Because we find the evidence was sufficient to create an issue for the jury, we reverse and remand to the trial court.
Here is a link to the opinion:

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