Empty Chair Needs An Expert Witness

What is an Empty Chair defense? It is a strategy used by the defendant to shift the blame of personal injury to the plaintiff to a missing third-party that is not a party to the case. The Empty Chair refers to this missing third party.

Here’s an example; you are shopping for your groceries inside a supermarket. Just as you are about to come out through the door, you stumble upon a large crate of drinks, fall and receive significant injuries. You then bring a claim against the supermarket for the damages incurred and the supermarket, in its defense shifts the blame upon the distributor of the drinks saying their employee left the crate of drinks on the door without their knowledge. They are using the empty chair defense.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals has recently held that defendants in all such cases must produce “expert testimony, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the non-party breached the standard of care.” Else, the empty chair defense will not stand.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

Rushed Radiologist Review Requires Remedy of $2 Million

A Dallas-based hospital group must pay $2 million settlement for a rushed review of the CT scans by their radiologist. After examining his keystrokes, the court determined that the radiologist spent less than a half-second per page while viewing the 691 images. As a result, he missed the bleeding in the brain of the patient, resulting in his death.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

Loose-lipped Letter Loses Lackawanna Lawsuit

A Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas judge rejected the company’s argument that it had no control over the hospital, citing a passage from their press release in which the CEO explicitly stated plans to control the operations of the hospital, as part of the acquisition.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD

Viagra Outperforms Expert Witnesses

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg has struck down all the plaintiffs’ causation experts in cases alleging that the use of Viagra increases the progression of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
The ruling is likely to end the multidistrict litigation over Viagra, involving more than 1,000 lawsuits.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD