2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 899 Evidence
Sec. 52-184c. Standard of care in negligence action against health care provider. Qualifications of expert witness.

      Sec. 52-184c. Standard of care in negligence action against health care provider. Qualifications of expert witness. (a) In any civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, as defined in section 52-184b, the claimant shall have the burden of proving by the preponderance of the evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider. The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.

      (b) If the defendant health care provider is not certified by the appropriate American board as being a specialist, is not trained and experienced in a medical specialty, or does not hold himself out as a specialist, a "similar health care provider" is one who: (1) Is licensed by the appropriate regulatory agency of this state or another state requiring the same or greater qualifications; and (2) is trained and experienced in the same discipline or school of practice and such training and experience shall be as a result of the active involvement in the practice or teaching of medicine within the five-year period before the incident giving rise to the claim.

      (c) If the defendant health care provider is certified by the appropriate American board as a specialist, is trained and experienced in a medical specialty, or holds himself out as a specialist, a "similar health care provider" is one who: (1) Is trained and experienced in the same specialty; and (2) is certified by the appropriate American board in the same specialty; provided if the defendant health care provider is providing treatment or diagnosis for a condition which is not within his specialty, a specialist trained in the treatment or diagnosis for that condition shall be considered a "similar health care provider".

      (d) Any health care provider may testify as an expert in any action if he: (1) Is a "similar health care provider" pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section; or (2) is not a similar health care provider pursuant to subsection (b) or (c) of this section but, to the satisfaction of the court, possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge as a result of practice or teaching in a related field of medicine, so as to be able to provide such expert testimony as to the prevailing professional standard of care in a given field of medicine. Such training, experience or knowledge shall be as a result of the active involvement in the practice or teaching of medicine within the five-year period before the incident giving rise to the claim.

      (P.A. 86-338, S. 11; P.A. 87-227, S. 8.)

      History: P.A. 87-227 amended Subsec. (a) to change applicability of section from "In any cause of action accruing on or after October 1, 1986, to recover damages for personal injury or wrongful death" to "In any civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after October 1, 1987" and specified that a health care provider is "as defined in section 52-184b".

      Cited. 211 C. 555. P.A. 86-338 cited. 214 C. 1. Cited. 215 C. 701. Cited. 242 C. 1. There is no explicit incorporation of the definition in Sec. 52-184b with reference to a similar health care provider anywhere in this section; this suggests that legislature intended to incorporate the definition only with reference to defendant health care providers and not with reference to similar health care providers. 265 C. 79.

      Cited. 34 CA 871. Cited. 44 CA 257.

      Subsec. (a):

      Cited. 239 C. 574. In claim for ordinary negligence for failure of health care provider to warn third party, expert testimony required to prove standard of care, breach of that standard and causation of injury. 262 C. 248. Expert testimony establishing standard of care at a particular hospital is relevant only if it comports with an accepted, applicable national standard of care. 289 C. 61.

      Subsec. (d):

      Does not preclude board-certified physician from testifying as an expert solely because the physician was not board-certified at the time of the alleged malpractice. 262 C. 637.

      Cited. 34 CA 871. Cited. 46 CA 391. Subsec. deals with situations where specialties overlap. 77 CA 307. Affords court discretion in determining whether an expert may testify and thus it is possible that expert could qualify to testify at trial under this Subsec. but not qualify to provide a prelitigation opinion pursuant to Sec. 52-190a(a). 117 CA 535.

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