Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Court reviews whether an expert witness cured a deficiency in order to satisfy the locality rule

SAMANTHA NABORS v. WILLIAM M. ADAMS, M.D., ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. July 23, 2009)

This appeal involves a medical malpractice action. In a motion for summary judgment, defendant physician asserted that plaintiff's expert witness failed to satisfy the requirements of the locality rule. The trial court granted the motion finding that plaintiff's expert failed to demonstrate a familiarity with the standard of care in defendant's community or a similar community. In a motion to alter or amend the judgment, plaintiff attached a supplemental affidavit of the same expert in order to cure the deficiency. The trial court considered the expert's supplemental affidavit and denied the motion because the new affidavit still failed to satisfy the locality rule. Plaintiff appeals. Reviewing the record, we find that the expert's supplemental affidavit cured the initial deficiency by relating facts which showed the similarity of the two communities. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.

The full text of this opinion may be found at the TBA website:

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