N.J. Court Erred With Expert Limit In Malpractice Case

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Posted on 29th March 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A New Jersey appellate panel ruled Thursday that a trial judge shouldn’t have limited the number of experts permitted to testify in a medical malpractice case involving a youth who sustained brain damage and died after being stabbed, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. The suit will now go back for a new trial.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/03/nj_appellate_panel_judge_cant.html

The appellate court said that a Hudson County judge made an error when he found that the defendant and plaintiff could only bring in one expert each on any subject relevant to the case, The Ledger reported. The panel said that the judge had ended up barring important evidence merely because it was the same as other testimony.

The malpractice case involved Kevin McClean, an 18-year-old Jersey City youth who died in October 2007 from complications stemming from when he was stabbed in September 2005. After the attack, McLean got a staff infection, sustained brain damage and became paralyzed from the waist down, according to The Ledger.

Kevin’s mother, Lisa McClean, then sued Greenville Hospital in Jersey City for malpractice, alleging that physicians should have diagnosed her son’s infection earlier. The jury didn’t find in favor of the mother, The Ledger reported.

During the trial, hospital lawyers argued McLean didn’t have any symptoms the indicated he had an infection.  The plaintiff’s attorney contended that he should have been allowed to call a second emergency medicine expert who would have said McLean should have been given a blood test, according to The Ledger.

The appellate panel ruled that a trial judge doesn’t have the “authority to balance the number of witnesses,” the newspaper reported.

 


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
g@gordonjohnson.com :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

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