Doctor Has License Permanently Revoked After Lying as an Expert Witness

Many doctors get away with this and their lies are never exposed. medical_malpractice_attorney

In a medical malpractice case that goes to trial, both sides will use expert witnesses to testify on their behalf, supporting their claims. A plaintiff might have an expert witness testify that the actions the doctor took were unacceptable and medically unnecessary, while the defendant’s experts might argue that the actions were medically necessary. A jury must weigh all of these opinions and choose which to believe. The testimonies of these experts play a big part in jury decisions, so attorneys make a point of carefully choosing whose testimony to offer.

However, sometimes these expert witnesses are not reliable. This is not an uncommon occurrence. But expert witnesses cannot be sued for the opinions they present in court. Because they have civil impunity, experts can essentially make whatever statements they like, or are encouraged to say, and no one can take legal action against them. Even if the statement they make is factually false, there is no legal remedy. This may seem unbelievable but if expert witnesses could be legally held accountable, there would be few witnesses willing to testify, and there would be no end to the litigation.

This means that doctors are not often taken to task for the opinions they state in the court setting. But in one recent case a doctor was actually arrested for what he said in court. Dr. Melvyn Flye, formerly of St. Louis, was called to testify in a medical malpractice case. The case was regarding a gallbladder surgery that took place in 2010. Allegedly, Dr. Flye lied in court under oath about the status of his credentials, the number of times he had been sued for malpractice, and about his own surgical experience.

The judge released him on a $50,000 bond.

If expert witnesses cannot be legally held responsible for their opinions, how could this happen? Well, the exception to the immunity is that while expert witnesses cannot be sued for defamation, abuse of process, or malicious prosecution, criminal actions can be taken against them if they are proved to say something fictitious and if the lie then affects the case outcome. For this to happen the district attorney would have to take action and this is a rarity. In most cases where a district attorney feels compelled to take action, the doctor has lied about his or her credentials, like the aforementioned case where Flye allegedly lied about his credentials and the number of procedures he had performed.

Many doctors get away with this and their lies are never exposed.

One doctor in Florida who made his living by being used as an expert witness has recently had his license revoked.

Dr. Richard Dellerson testified in over 300 cases. It was determined that he lied about his credentials, signing an affidavit saying he was board certified when he was not. He also lied about attending Johns Hopkins Medical School, and by saying that he was a member of the American Medical Association, and about being clinically active (currently seeing patients).

Dellerson explained his actions by saying that there was never any intent to deceive anybody, and that he was merely careless, but the board was not convinced and permanently revoked his license and his ability to testify as an expert witness.

Contact a Malpractice Attorney

If you have been harmed because of medical malpractice, contact a Missouri medical malpractice attorney for a free case evaluation.

The medical malpractice attorneys at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm have over 20 years of experience and have recovered millions of dollars for victims of medical malpractice.

To speak with a malpractice attorney call (314) 588-7200.



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