Experts have to know what they are talking about and CPLR 2106

Galluccio v Grossman, 2018 NY Slip Op 03664 [2d Dept. 2018]

In opposition, the affirmation of the plaintiffs' expert failed to raise a triable issue of fact. "While it is true that a medical expert need not be a specialist in a particular field in order to testify regarding accepted practices in that field, the witness nonetheless should be possessed of the requisite skill, training, education, knowledge or experience from which it can be assumed that the opinion rendered is reliable" (Postlethwaite v United Health Servs. Hosps., 5 AD3d 892, 895 [internal quotation marks and citations omitted]). "Thus, where a physician opines outside his or her area of specialization, a foundation must be laid tending to support the reliability of the opinion rendered" (Mustello v Berg, 44 AD3d 1018, 1019; see Behar v Coren, 21 AD3d 1045, 1046-1047). Here, the plaintiffs' expert, who was board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease, did not indicate in his affirmation that he had training in emergency medicine, or what, if anything, he did to familiarize himself with the standard of care for this specialty. The affirmation, therefore, [*3]lacked probative value, and failed to raise a triable issue of fact (see Lavi v NYU Hosps. Ctr., 133 AD3d 830, 831). Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted the motion of Friedman and Island Medical for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all cross claims insofar as asserted against them.


Although the plaintiffs initially opposed the motion with physician affirmations that did not comply with CPLR 2016, the court providently disregarded the defect after the plaintiffs replaced the affirmations with affidavits (see CPLR 2001). However, the court should have granted that branch of the motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action alleging lack of informed consent insofar as asserted against those defendants, since, as elucidated in the bill of particulars, the claim does not involve an affirmative violation of the plaintiff's physical integrity as is required to state a cause of action for lack of informed consent (see Martin v Hudson Val. Assoc., 13 AD3d 419, 420).

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