Courts Rule Against Med-Mal Plaintiffs Over Lack Of Expert
Young woman doctor anesthesiologist dressed in green gown, puts the dropper in hospital room

The New Jersey appellate court affirmed the dismissal of a medical malpractice lawsuit against Virtua Health Inc, Virtua West Jersey Hospital Voorhees, Dr. Pamela Sokelove and the Women’s Group for OB/GYN. The higher court found that the plaintiff’s lack of expert witness testimony regarding medical negligence in the lower court was indeed a basis for dismissal. Lisa Hunt, et al. vs. Virtua Health, Inc., et al., (A-4196-14T1) states:

Plaintiffs Lisa Hunt and Russell Hunt brought this medical malpractice action on behalf of themselves and their minor child Hailey Rosina Hunt (collectively, plaintiffs), alleging that defendants were negligent during Lisa’s labor and the delivery of Hailey, causing extensive, permanent neurological injuries to Hailey….

Mrs. Hunt had been admitted to Virtua West Jersey Hospital for six hours and given morphine and an epidural when “a severe bradycardia episode occurred.” Dr. Pamela Kopelove ordered an emergency cesarean section. At delivery, Hailey was described as “lifeless,” “limp, apneic, [and] pale with no heart rate” and diagnosed with severe asphyxia. She suffers from permanent neurological damage including neurodevelopmental delay and cerebral palsy.

The Hunts argued that expert testimony wasn’t needed because Virtua knew about the doctor’s alleged incompetence. The court found that the plaintiffs did not produce any expert report to articulate the standard of care applicable to their direct claims against Virtua or cite any legal authority to support the proposition that an expert was unnecessary.

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, wrote: “We therefore discern no abuse of discretion in the trial judge’s determination that expert testimony was necessary to support plaintiffs’ claims. Because plaintiffs could not sustain their burden of establishing both a duty and the breach of that duty, Virtua was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

Obstetrics and gynecology medical experts are physicians trained in the management of pregnancy and delivery, female surgical issues, and women’s health. The OB/GYN expert witness is brought on board to support and substantiate the litigation team’s legal argument. In this lawsuit alleging medical negligence, the plaintiffs did not hire an expert witness to support their case, resulting in both courts ruling against them.  Contact ELITE Medical Experts to find the top-tier medical expert who will stand by you from start-to-finish in support of your case.

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