15 Feb Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s tPA
By letter opinion dated February 12, 2018, Circuit Court for the Counties of Lee, Scott and Wise and the City of Norton, Virginia, denied the medical malpractice defendant’s Motion in Limine to prohibit plaintiff expert’s causation testimony about the efficacy of tPA in preventing hemorrhagic stroke. The case is Mitchell v. Cox, No. L15-492.
Mitchell recounted that tPA administration has no effect for 64% of recipients, positive benefits for 33% of recipients, and adverse reactions for 3% of recipients. Although medical malpractice defendant doctor argued that such a 33% success rate fatally failed to constitute the requisite “probability” for admission into evidence, the judge reasoned that the unaffected 64% “are logically irrelevant to the benefit/harm analysis” and that 33% compared to only 3% qualified for admissibility under Virginia law. Id. at 2-3.
Mitchell also denied 2 defense Motions in Limine seeking to disqualify plaintiff’s standard of care (“SOC”) experts. Denial re one SOC expert based on the “knowledge” requirement turned on defendant failing to rebut the statutory presumption; while denial re the other SOC expert based on the “active clinical practice” requirement turned on plaintiff’s expert performing the same procedure at issue despite specializing in a different field of medicine. Id. at 1-2.