Louisiana R.S. 9:2794 – Plaintiff’s Burden of Proof in Medical Malpractice Actions

In Louisiana medical malpractice actions, the plaintiff has the burden of proving:

(1) the degree of knowledge or skill possessed or the degree of care ordinarily exercised by physicians, dentists, optometrists, or chiropractic physicians licensed to practice in the state of Louisiana and actively practicing in a similar community or locale (the locality rule) and under similar circumstances; and where the defendant practices in a particular specialty and where the alleged acts of medical negligence raise issues peculiar to the particular medical specialty involved, then the plaintiff has the burden of proving the degree of care ordinarily practiced by physicians, dentists, optometrists, or chiropractic physicians within the involved medical specialty (locality rule is inapplicable to specialists); and

(2) That the defendant either lacked this degree of knowledge or skill or failed to use reasonable care and diligence, along with his best judgment in the application of that skill; and

(3) That as a proximate result of this lack of knowledge or skill or the failure to exercise this degree of care the plaintiff suffered injuries that would not otherwise have been incurred.

La.R.S. 9:2794(A).

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