The Louisiana Supreme Court recently held in McGolthlin v. Christus St. Patrick Hosp. that a Medical Review Panel’s finding is not subject to mandatory admissibility when the Medical Review Panel exceeded its statutory authority by making its determination based on of a finding of credibility.
In Louisiana, a plaintiff suing for medical malpractice is statutorily required to appear before a Medical Review Panel. La. R.S. 40:1299.47 governs this procedure. The panel is comprised of three health care providers licensed to practice in Louisiana and one attorney.
Before the panel, both parties present their case and evidence. The panel then decides whether the allegedly negligent doctor breached an applicable medical standard of care. The statute requires that the panel’s finding must be offered into evidence in court.
The Court’s holding purports to ameliorate any inequity that may result when a medical review panel exceeds its statutory authority. Now, if the panel inappropriately makes a credibility determination, the panel’s decision will carry no weight in subsequent malpractice litigation.
If you or a loved one were a victim of medical malpractice, you should contact an experienced attorney to learn about your legal rights. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 1-888-337-2323 (toll free) or 337-233-2323 (local).