Avoid the “related medical specialty” trap…

The “related specialty” trap is prevalent in the medical-legal world.  Plaintiffs often claim that various medical specialties communicate with one another regularly; therefore, they are in “related fields of health care” as required by Maryland law – even if they are not.  You can avoid this common trap by challenging it as flawed.

Recently, we were able to help a radiology client avoid the trap.  Our client was sued for failing to properly communicate radiology results to the OB/GYN who ordered the study.  Plaintiff’s case was “certified” by an OB/GYN expert only, but Plaintiff argued that radiologists and OB/GYNs communicate with one another regularly, and therefore have “related specialties.”

We argued that radiologists communicate with many specialists, and Plaintiff’s argument was nothing more than a trap that, if supported, would allow any doctor who communicates with other specialists to be qualified to testify.  Upon filing a motion to exclude Plaintiff’s OB/GYN expert, our radiology client was dismissed.

Determining whether medical specialties are truly in a “related field of health care” can be tricky.  Unfortunately, Maryland courts have done little to assist in weeding out unqualified experts.  Bottom line: don’t get trapped by intertwined medical specialties!

Larry Waranch

Larry Waranch

Larry Waranch is an AV rated trial lawyer and a founding partner of Waranch & Brown. His practice focuses primarily on medical malpractice defense, medical licensure matters, administrative defense and general liability.
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