Rasor v. Northwest Hospital, LLCAnnotate this Case
In a medical malpractice action, a defendant may move for summary judgment based on a proposed expert’s lack of required qualifications under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-2604 without first challenging the sufficiency of the expert affidavit under Ariz. Rev. Stat. 12-2603. Further, an expert is unqualified to testify on standard of care pursuant to section 12-2604 if she did not engage in active clinical practice or teaching during the year immediately preceding the injury.
The trial court granted summary judgment for Defendant after ruling that Plaintiff was permitted to introduce expert opinion on standard of care or causation under section 12-2604. The court of appeals concluded that Plaintiff’s expert was not qualified as a standard-of-care expert and affirmed the grant of summary judgment on this basis alone. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the court of appeals in part and remanded the case, holding (1) the court of appeals properly found that Plaintiff’s expert was unqualified to provide expert standard-of-care testimony; and (2) because the court of appeals did not decide whether Plaintiff’s expert was qualified as a causation expert and whether causation testimony was legally necessary, this case must be remanded to the court of appeals to address those issues in the first instance.