Evidence – Expert testimony by doctor regarding nurse’s standard of care permitted: Tapp v. Owensboro Medical Health System, Inc. (COA 4/10/2009)

Tapp v. Owensboro Medical Health System, Inc.
2009 WL 960826

Opinion by Judge Acree; Judge Moore and Senior Judge Knopf concurred.

The Court affirmed a judgment of the circuit court dismissing a negligence action against a doctor and hospital.

The Court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing a doctor to testify regarding the nurses’ standard of care. The testimony complied with the requirements of KRE 702 in that the testimony was within the board certified pediatrician’s area of expertise; his opinion was based upon facts and data, including deposition testimony of all relevant witnesses and medical records admitted into evidence; the principles and methods used to assess the facts and data were obtained from the doctor’s career focusing on pediatric patients, including emergency situations, and were typical of traditional medical education in the specialty; and the doctor clearly applied reliable principles and methods to the specific circumstances. The Court declined to adopt holdings from other jurisdictions that physicians were incompetent to testify regarding a nurses’ standard of care.

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