The Louisiana Supreme Court in McGlothlin v Christus St. Patrick’s Hospital, 2010-2775 (La. 7/1/11), struck a powerful blow to the conspiracy of silence machine that dominates Louisiana medical malpractice litigation by holding that the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act does NOT mandate the admission of a medical review panel opinion when the panel exceeds its statutory authority and renders an opinion based on its determination of the patient’s credibility, rather than on the appropriate medical standard. Prior to this holding, it was common practice for Louisiana medical review panel members, when faced with conflicting versions of the events, to accept as truth everything the doctor said and to disregard what the patient said.
In a recent case handled by Baton Rouge, Louisiana medical malpractice attorney, Scott Andrews, the Louisiana medical review panel totally disregarded (and did not even read) the affidavits of the widow and an eye witness and found that the doctor did not commit medical negligence based solely on his deposition testimony. Even though the Medial Review Panel Attorney Chairman agreed that an issue of fact existed that prevented the panel from rendering a valid opinion, he nevertheless allowed the medical review panel to rule in favor of the doctor, with the caveat that plaintiff could object to admissibility of the opinion later. It is time for Medical Review Panel Attorney Chairmen to stand up to the conspiracy of silence machine and follow the law as written by the Louisiana Legislature, as interpreted by the Louisiana Supreme Court, and give victims of medical malpractice their rightful day in court.