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From the Courts: Expert Witnesses  

Author:  Ken Kozlowski.

Source: Volume 19, Number 02, January/February 2018 , pp.21-24(4)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Most medical malpractice claims involve issues of science or professional skill outside the ordinary experience and knowledge of jurors and judges. For that reason, expert testimony is often needed in order to establish that the conduct in question departed from standards of care and caused the damages claimed. In Adams v. Sietsma, 2017 WL 5034561 (Ky. Nov. 2, 2017), the Supreme Court of Kentucky found that plaintiff’s failure to produce expert evidence was fatal to his claim, even though the facts of the case reflected errors in procedure that led to unnecessary pain. Also covered in this issue, Brooks v. Colorado Department of Corrections, 2017 WL 4785934 (10 th Cir. Oct. 24, 2017), in which plaintiff claimed that he should have been given a gluten-free diet because he was allergic to gluten. His claim under Title II of ADA However, the only evidence of a medical need came from Brooks’ own declaration. A second claim by plaintiff, for negligent care of a dental emergency, was allowed to proceed to trial, reversing the district court’s summary judgment for a department of corrections physician who had failed to arrange treatment of an inmate’s cavity even though he knew about the condition and its severity.

Keywords: Expert witnesses; Americans with Disabilities Act; neglected dental care

Affiliations:  1: Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library.

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