Experts

Wei Lin v Sang Kim, 2019 NY Slip Op 00161 [2d Dept. 2019]

In a medical malpractice action, a defendant moving for summary judgment has the burden of establishing, prima facie, either the absence of any departure from good and accepted medical practice, or that any departure was not a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries (see Kelly v Rosca, 164 AD3d 888, 891; Barley v Bethpage Physical Therapy Assoc., P.C., 122 AD3d 784Wall v Flushing Hosp. Med. Ctr., 78 AD3d 1043, 1044). The burden is not met if the defendant’s expert renders an opinion that is conclusory in nature or unsupported by competent evidence (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 NY2d 320, 324; Bongiovanni v Cavagnuolo, 138 AD3d 12, 17; Barley v Bethpage Physical Therapy Assoc., P.C., 122 AD3d at 784; Duvidovich v George, 122 AD3d 666).

We agree with the Supreme Court’s determination denying the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, although on a different ground than that relied on by the court. In support of his motion, the defendant failed to establish, prima facie, that he did not depart from good and accepted medical practice, or that any departure was not a proximate cause of the injured plaintiff’s injuries. The defendant’s expert merely summarized the medical records and certain deposition testimony, and opined in a conclusory manner that the defendant’s treatment of the injured plaintiff did not represent a departure from good and accepted medical practice (see Kelly v Rosca, 164 AD3d at 891; Barley v Bethpage Physical Therapy Assoc., P.C., 122 AD3d at 784). Since the defendant failed to establish his prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, we need not consider the sufficiency of the plaintiffs’ opposition papers (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853).

The bold is mine.

Sikorjak v City of New York, 2019 NY Slip Op 00157 [2d Dept. 2019]

 It was a provident exercise of discretion for the court to limit the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert to issues calling for professional or technical knowledge (see De Long v County of Erie, 60 NY2d 296, 307; Century Sur. Co. v All in One Roofing, LLC, 154 AD3d 803, 808; Kohler v Barker, 147 AD3d 1037, 1038; Galasso v 400 Exec. Blvd.LLC, 101 AD3d 677, 678). The court also providently exercised its discretion in sustaining an objection to improper opinion testimony by a fact witness (see Guzek v B & L Wholesale Supply, Inc., 151 AD3d 1662, 1664; LaPenta v Loca-Bik Ltee Transp., 238 AD2d 913, 914). 

Daniele v Pain Mgt. Ctr. of Long Is., 2019 NY Slip Op 00093 [2d Dept. 2019]

The Supreme Court also should not have allowed the plaintiff’s experts, Jason Brajer and Paul Edelson, to testify as expert witnesses in emergency medicine. “[W]here 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). Whether a particular witness is qualified to testify as an expert is ordinarily a discretionary determination (see de Hernandez v Lutheran Med. Ctr., 46 AD3d 517, 517), which will not be disturbed in the absence of a serious mistake, an error of law, or an improvident exercise of discretion (see id. at 517-518). Brajer was board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management. He did not testify that he had training in emergency medicine, and did not adequately explain how he was familiar with the standard of care in emergency medicine based upon his prior experience of being called to the emergency room to prepare patients for surgery, or evaluating urgent back pain (see Galluccio v Grossman, 161 AD3d 1049, 1052; cf. Ocasio-Gary v Lawrence Hosp., 69 AD3d 403, 405). Edelson, a pediatrician, had minimal experience in emergency medicine. More importantly, that experience, which consisted of moonlighting at a hospital for five hours per week in the late 1970s and early 1980s, was simply too remote in time to qualify him to testify as an expert in emergency medicine as of September 2010, the time of the treatment at issue in this case. Edelson otherwise failed to demonstrate that he possessed the specialized knowledge, training, or education that would have qualified him as an expert in this area (see Lavi v NYU Hosps. Ctr., 133 AD3d 830, 831; de Hernandez v Lutheran Med. Ctr., 46 AD3d at 517-518; Mustello v Berg, 44 AD3d at 1018-1019). Accordingly, the court should not have permitted their expert testimony.

The bold is mine.

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