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Georgia Supreme Court Weakens Expert Knowledge Rule

In Dubois v. Brantley, (Ga. Sup. Ct., July 13, 2015), the Georgia Supreme Court held that pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 702(C)(2)(a), an expert may testify concerning a procedure, generally, even if the doctor has not performed the specific procedure at issue.

The Supreme Court held that a surgeon who performed abdominal laparoscopic surgeries involving the insertion of a primary trocar, but did not perform the specific surgery at issue in the case, a hernia repair, could still testify. The Court held that the alleged negligence concerned the insertion of the primary trocar, and that there was no evidence that it was done any differently in a hernia surgery versus any other abdominal laparoscopic surgery.

The opinion is not helpful, but does not prevent excluding experts who do not have the specific knowledge of the alleged negligence. The Court has simply held the word procedure is defined as broadly or as specifically as it relates to the specific alleged negligence in the case.

By: Richard Tisinger, Jr.

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