Love v. WalkerAnnotate this Case
Lisa and Larry Walker filed a medical malpractice action against Dr. C. Lance Love, claiming medical negligence in connection with a thyroidectomy that Dr. Love had performed on Lisa. Three years later, Dr. Love moved for summary judgment because the Walkers had yet to identify an expert who would testify that Dr. Love had deviated from the applicable medical standard of care. The trial court granted the motion due to failure of proof. The Walkers filed a motion to alter, amend, or vacate the order, arguing that a surgical expert was not necessary. The trial court denied the motion, but the court of appeals reversed, concluding that the evidence was sufficient to create a legitimate dispute about the need for an expert witness. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) summary judgment was appropriate as to the issue of whether Dr. Love’s performance during or after the surgery met the standard of care because the Walkers failed to timely present any expert testimony regarding the issue; but (2) summary judgment was not appropriate as to whether surgery was the correct response to Lisa’s medical diagnosis. Remanded.