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A Better Partnership
January 31, 2014

COA holds that a medical malpractice expert witness does not need identical expertise as the doctor

An expert witness in a medical malpractice case does not need "identical experience and expertise" as the defendant in order to testify about whether the defendant complied with the standard of care. MCL 600.2169(2) instructs the court to consider an expert's area of specialization when evaluating whether an expert is qualified to render an opinion. Albro v Drayer involved a failed ankle surgery. The defendant's experts had considerable experience with ankle reconstruction, but they did not have significant experience with the particular procedure at issue in the case. The Court of Appeals held that the experts satisfied the requirements of MCL 600.2169(2) because they were experts in the same general field as the procedure at issue in the case. A lack of significant experience with the specific procedure would go towards the weight of their opinions, not the admissibility. 

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