One of the purposes of a civil lawsuit is to provide the opportunity for justice for those who have been harmed or wronged due to the actions of others. In an ideal world, a courtroom would always provide a level playing field in which plaintiffs and defendants would be able to present their cases that would, in turn, be fairly judged on their merits. But in order for this to happen, everyone giving testimony must do so honestly.
This is especially true in medical malpractice cases. Most of us are not familiar with the complexities of the medical profession. Instead, we depend on professionals to provide critical information regarding the proper care of patients. This means when a doctor takes the stand to testify about the quality of care provided by a fellow physician, we trust his or her assessment is valid.
But unfortunately, this is not always the case. Recently, a retired surgeon admitted in an interview that he lied on the stand by saying that he knew of no instances of a colleague giving substandard care to his patients. In fact, the surgeon had serious doubts about his colleague’s abilities and was aware of patients who were injured under his care. A suit had been filed against the surgeon’s colleague by a patient who, after an operation, suffered a stroke and was left permanently disabled. The patient eventually lost the case.
The retired surgeon, who now regrets lying, says it is a common practice among doctors to cover for one another in court. The surgeon went so far as to say that supporting testimony provided by a colleague in the medical profession should never be deemed truthful. And when such transgressions occur, the injured patient is at a decided disadvantage as a doctor’s testimony can carry a lot of weight with a jury.
For this reason, if you are planning to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, having the representation of an experienced attorney could be critical. Experienced attorneys can apply their knowledge of the legal and medical systems to help you build as strong a case as possible.
Source: MedScape, Doctor Lied Under Oath to Protect Colleague, Now Admits It,” Mark Crane, Oct. 4, 2016