• Trial Court Grants Summary Judgment Pursuant to New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patients First Act.
  • January 24, 2017 | Author: Dylan T. Hastings
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Cherry Hill Office
  • The defendant, a family practice physician, performed a phlebectomy on the plaintiff, which she claimed caused her permanent injuries. At the ensuing Ferreira conference, the defendant took the position that he was acting as a “family medicine specialist” when he performed the operation. At the defendant’s deposition, he testified that a vascular surgeon specializes in phlebectomies and that he did not consider himself an expert in phlebectomies, but as a family practice physician performing a phlebectomy, he would have been expected to conform to the same standard of care. As a result, the plaintiff retained a vascular surgeon as an expert witness to testify as to the standard of care for vascular surgeons and how the defendant deviated therefrom. The defendant moved for summary judgment on the basis that the expert testimony of the plaintiff’s vascular surgeon did not meet the criteria set forth in the Patients First Act. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion, holding that the defendant was a specialist in family medicine. In applying Nicholas v. Mynster, 213 N.J. 463, 484-85 (2013), the Appellate Division held that regardless of the procedure and standard of care related thereto, a plaintiff’s expert must specialize in the same specialty as a defendant physician.