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Decision Re Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Suit

By FindLaw Staff on May 19, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In Pages-Ramirez v. Ramirez-Gonzalez, No. 08-1831, the First Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment in plaintiffs' medical malpractice suit against an obstetrician and others claiming that the doctor caused catastrophic injuries to their son during his delivery.

As stated in the decision: "The dispositive question is not whether an expert is board certified in a particular medical specialty.  Rather, the Rules of Evidence require that the judge admit expert testimony relevant to the disposition of the case when it will assist the trier of fact in understanding a fact in issue and rests on a reliable foundation."

Thus, in reversing the decision, the court held that the district court abused its discretion when it refused to permit plaintiffs' expert to testify on the relevant standard of care and causation. 

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