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September 17, 2020

Expert Testimony Required to Prove Medical Negligence Even as Alternative Theory of Causation as Cancer Patient Gets New Trial in Medical Malpractice Suit

On August 24, the Maryland Court of Appeals decided that a new trial was warranted in Am. Radiology Servs., LLC v. Reiss. The suit was filed by a cancer patient alleging that two radiologists negligently failed to flag the growth of a cancerous lymph node at an early stage. The radiologists counter-argued that the injuries caused to the claimant were a result of negligence by other doctors who were not defendants in the case. However, defendants did not present new expert testimony about the nonparties’ alleged negligence. As a result, the Appeals Court determined that the trial court improperly allowed the defendants to argue that non-party physicians were responsible for claimant’s injuries, without presenting expert evidence. The Appeals Court further established that expert evidence is required, and its nonexistence in this case caused confusion for the jury, and for this reason the case required a new trial.