New rules for physicians and others who testify in medical malpractice cases will kick in today but the Florida Board of Medicine is already showing zero tolerance for œexperts who may not measure up, the Tampa Tribune reported on June 7, 2013. Recently, the Florida Board of Medicine threw out a settlement that would have offered mild punishment for Richard Dellerson of Broward County, accused of testifying as an expert witness after letting his medical certification lapse. The board signaled its intent to revoke his license, but Dellerson said he will fight.
The new expert witness laws are even stricter than the prior restrictions enacted two years ago. One of the new laws will require experts have the same specialties as the physicians who are defendants in medical-negligence cases. The other will require courts to use a three-part test, called the Daubert standard, to decide if testimony can be admitted.
Both of these new measures will benefit doctors and corporations at the expense of injured patients and consumers. As Debra Henley (Florida Justice Association Executive Director) eloquentely stated to The Tampa Tribune, “The law is anti-consumer and further tips the scales of justice against patients and the families of patients who are killed or injured as a result of medical negligence,” said Debra Henley, the association’s executive director. She called the medical-malpractice bill “one of the most harmful bills” passed during the 2013 legislative session. It will drive up costs and bog down court cases, she said. “Trials will be won not on the grounds of who has the strongest case, but rather who has the largest bank account,” she said.
This blogger agrees with Ms. Henley. One more roadblock for the people of Florida to get justice for the wrongs that have been bestowed upon them. This is dissapointing to say the least.