Claim of failure to treat detached retina is dismissed because woman's expert did not devote 50% of his time to specialty
Judy Witt sued Louis C. Glazer and Vitrio-Retinal Associates in Kent County Circuit Court. She claimed that Glazer was professionally negligent in failing to diagnose and treat her detached retina. Her attorneys retained a board-certified opthalmologist to execute an Affidavit of Merit and testify against Glazer, however, at his deposition, the expert testified that he spent sixty percent of his professional time on administrative matters. As a result, he did not qualify under one of the medical malpractice "reform" statutes to testify against an Opthalmology specialist.Witt's attorney mistakenly assumed the Defendants would not raise this qualification issue, as the Defendants did not raise the expert's qualifications for about a year, and they cited his testimony to the court in an effort to limit Witt's potential damages. [He had testified that diagnosis after a certain date would not have changed Witt's outcome and the Defendants benefitted from that testimony.] When the Defendants did raise the qualification issue, however, the trial court dismissed Witt's case because she no longer had an expert qualified under the law to testify against Glazer. The Court also refused to allow Witt to add a new, replacement expert. Witt's attorney appealed this outcome but it was upheld on appeal. The Court of Appeals determined that the decision did not constitute an abuse of discretion.