In Spiewak v. Sightler, 2013-1028 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2/14/14), the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice claim against Woman’s Hospital Foundation. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment supported by expert opinion evidence that the treatment in question met the applicable standard of care. The plaintiff did not offer expert opinion evidence in opposition to the motion. The motion was granted.
A “med-mal” plaintiff possesses the affirmative burden to establish the applicable standard of care, a breach of that standard of care, and that the substandard care caused injury. When non-evident malpractice is involved, this burden will typically require expert medical testimony.
The First Circuit in Spiewak determined that expert medical testimony was necessary to support the plaintiff’s claims because the case involved complex medical issues. On this basis, the First Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant.