Louisiana Medical Malpractice Liability for State Services Act – Duty of the Medical Review Panel and Admissibility of the Medical Review Panel Opinion

The medical review panel shall have the sole duty to express its expert opinion as to whether or not the evidence supports the conclusion that the defendant or defendants acted or failed to act within the appropriate standards of care as charged in the complaint. After reviewing all evidence and after any examination of the panel by counsel representing either party, the panel shall, within thirty days, render one or more of the following expert opinions which shall be in writing and signed by the panelists, together with written reasons supporting each opinion, which shall constitute part of the report:

(1) The evidence does not support the conclusion that the defendant or defendants failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care as charged in the complaint.

(2) The evidence does support the conclusion that the defendant or defendants failed to meet the applicable standard of care as charged in the complaint. If such opinion is rendered, then an opinion on whether the conduct complained of was or was not, in fact, a medical cause of the resultant damages shall also be rendered. If an opinion is rendered that such conduct was, in fact, a medical cause of the resultant damages, then an opinion shall be rendered on whether the plaintiff suffered:

(a) Any disability and the extent and duration of the disability.

(b) Any permanent impairment and the percentage of the impairment.

(3) There is a material issue of fact, not requiring medical or health care expert opinion, bearing on liability for consideration by the court. 40:1299.39.1(G)

Any report of the expert opinion reached by the state medical review panel shall be admissible as evidence in any action subsequently brought by the claimant in a court of law, but such expert opinion shall not be conclusive. 40:1299.39.1(H).

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