State Supreme Court Rules Medical Malpractice Expert Was Not Qualified to Testify

Beekman Youngblood, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist who appealed a circuit court judgment entered on a jury verdict in favor of Anthony Martin, as personal representative of the estate of Lanesha Martin.

On May 25, 2006, Lanesha Martin underwent outpatient sinus surgery at Vaughan Regional Medical Center. During that surgery, she was administered general anesthesia and was intubated (i.e., an endotracheal tube was inserted into her throat to help her breathe).

After the surgery, she developed pulmonary edema while in the post-anesthesia care unit and began experiencing problems with her oxygen saturation.

Martin was later reintubated and transferred to the intensive-care unit of the medical center for further treatment. However, Martin unfortunately died on May 29, 2006.

On May 28, 2008, Anthony Martin, as the personal representative of Lanesha Martin’s estate, brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Youngblood and Vaughan Regional Medical Center Inc., the owner and operator of the medical center, which eventually settled before the trial.

In his complaint, Martin alleged that Dr. Youngblood had chosen not to meet the applicable standard of care in administering anesthesia and in caring for and treating Lanesha Martin after the surgery.

The Alabama State Supreme Court determined that Martin’s medical expert was not qualified to testify; therefore, the trial court should have entered a judgment as a matter of law in favor of Dr. Youngblood.

Dr. Youngblood argued that his motion for judgment as a matter of law was to be granted because he said that the expert physician did not meet the requirements of a “similarly situated healthcare provider,” as the term is defined by the state Medical Liability Act. Therefore, Dr. Youngblood argued, the medical expert selected by the plaintiffs should not have been permitted to testify as an expert witness.

The supreme court agreed. Accordingly, the jury’s verdict and judgment were reversed and the case was remanded to the trial court to enter a judgment as a matter of law in favor of Dr. Youngblood.

Youngblood v. Martin, Supreme Court of Alabama, Docket No. 1171037 (Jan. 10, 2020).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling wrongful death lawsuits, anesthesiology errors, physician negligence lawsuits, hospital negligence cases and birth trauma injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Morton Grove, Prospect Heights, Palos Hills, Palatine, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove, Half Day, Deerfield, Highwood, Olympia Fields, LaGrange Park, North Riverside, Bridgeview, Bedford Park, Hickory Hills, Orland Park, Tinley Park, Hazel Crest, Matteson, University Park, South Chicago Heights, Chicago (Pullman, Chatham, South Chicago, Englewood, East Side, Washington Heights, Beverly, Morgan Park, Bronzeville, South Loop, Near West Side, Homan Square, East Garfield Park, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, Old Town, Near North Side, River North, River West, West Town, Humboldt Park), Oak Park, Forest Park, Stone Park, Berkeley, Hillside, Westchester and Blue Island, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

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