Hindsight may very well be 20:20. That fact is at the core of a study that presents very persuasive data to show that the use of Expert Testimony is inherently flawed. The study, which appears in the August issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, demonstrates that knowing the outcome of the case makes it all too easy for these paid Experts to opine that statement which endorses what the plaintiff’s attorney wants that witness to say. But the study shows that at least 30 of 31 experts’ opinions would have been exactly the same as the doctor being sued — if only they were blind to the outcome at the time.
To demonstrate that the opinion was prejudiced, radiologists were asked to interpret double-blind x-ray images, to determine the injuries, if any. The overwhelming majority (when the outcome was unknown to the radiologist at the time), in near-perfect agreement with the defendant being sued, concluded exactly as he did. In other words, they all would have called it exactly the same way, if they’d been asked to interpret those images without the benefit of knowing ahead of time what what wrong.
What does that mean for physicians today? The study provides ample cause to claim that Expert Testimony is inherently flawed. After all, it’s easy to see the veiled path accurately when you have the advantage of already knowing where that path is going, but that isn’t the scenario that the defendant was working with at the time. If 30 out of 31 doctors would have come to the same conclusion you did in the same circumstances you had, it’s ludicrous to try to claim any sort of malpractice has occurred. Of course, we couldn’t agree more.
Our primary thrust in regards to tort reform is to end the jackpot payoffs that cause lawyers to take baseless cases in the first case. Opponents of tort reform state that the system is fine just the way it is. This study says otherwise. If expert witness testimony, the linchpin of a medical malpractice case, is so flawed, how can the rest of the system possibly serve justice?
Medical Justice protects our members and their reputations from baseless allegations, Internet Defamation, and unwarranted demands for refunds. Contact Medical Justice today, to learn more about the ways in which Medical Justice can provide you with peace of mind, dramatically reduce your risk of a malpractice suit being filed, and save you large sums of money every year.