ER physician with specialty in neurology may not offer opinions regarding impact of early stroke treatment
Keith Hall suffered a stroke and was treated at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe. His family argued that Dr. Jeffrey W. Courturier was negligent in failing to initiate proper stroke treatment. The family presented another ER doctor--who had previously specialized in neurology--as an expert on the questions of standard of care and causation. The family's expert testified that proper treatment would have improved Hall's functional status and life expectancy.Relying on the fact that the family's E.R. expert had never actually practiced his neurology specialty, the Court concluded that he was not competent to offer opinions about the impact of the defendant's delay in treatment. Despite the doctor's board certification in neurology in 1994, and his further board certification in vascular neurology in 2005, the Court ruled that his lack of a "continuing relationship" with stroke patients disqualified him from offering medical opinions about the effect of early treatment.