Florida Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Allowing Treating Physicians of Family of Child Who Underwent Kidney Transplant to Testify in Medical Malpractice Case

 Medical Malpractice Case

According to a report from WLRN in Miami, the Florida Supreme Court recently issued an important ruling in favor of a patient’s ability to present key evidence of his or her injuries in a Florida medical malpractice case. This evidence consisted of the testimony of an injured patient’s own treating physicians. In the case, Gutierrez v. Vargas, a child was forced to unnecessarily undergo a kidney transplant in 2007 due to damage caused to her kidneys by a chronic kidney disease.

The child’s parents sued the child’s pediatrician for failing to diagnose her with a kidney disease. This failure to diagnose the correct kidney disorder caused severe damage to her kidneys before the correct diagnosis was eventually made, but not before the child eventually needed a kidney transplant. The pediatrician argued at trial that the child suffered from a different disease that could not have been diagnosed sooner. The jury eventually returned a verdict of $4,100,000 in favor of the child and her family.

However, on appeal, the Florida Supreme Court made clear that the trial judge made an error when he did not allow two pathologists to testify at trial who had examined the child’s kidneys immediately before her transplant and who had opined that she suffered from chronic kidney disease rather than the different kidney disease that the defendant pediatrician claimed the child suffered from.

Treating Physician Testimony: Key Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases in Florida often hinge on the testimony of the patient’s treating medical doctors. A patient’s doctors are the only witnesses with the training, skill and knowledge of the particular patient to be able to provide a jury of lay people with a plain English interpretation of a patient’s medical condition and injuries.

Although defense attorneys may argue to the contrary, a patient’s treating doctors also lack any dog in the fight when it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits involving their patients-treating physicians are not there to provide testimony to favor their patients or their patients’ cases. Instead, as the Florida Supreme Court recognized in this decision.

Treating physicians simply are there to testify regarding their particular perception of the patient and his or her symptoms, the patient’s diagnosis and their recommendations as to further treatment for the patient. Therefore, as a result of this decision, patients and their attorneys will be able to rest easier in knowing that they will be able to introduce proper evidence from all of their treating physicians in a medical malpractice case in Florida.

Contact Lytal Reiter if You Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice in Florida

Whether you have been the victim of a physician’s misdiagnosis like the child in this case or any other form of medical malpractice, the Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have experience successfully litigating complicated medical malpractice cases. We are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve no matter what kind of medical malpractice you have been the victim of. Call today at 561-655-1990 or 800-654-2024 for a free consultation regarding your situation.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in West Palm Beach

About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath

Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer. Call for a free consultation today at (561) 655-1990 or visit our website.

 

Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
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