Lassiter v. N.C. Baptist Hosps., Inc.Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, as guardian ad litem for Jakari Baize, filed a complaint against Defendants, healthcare providers, alleging negligence in failing properly to treat Jakari for a severe case of jaundice that left him permanently disabled. After discovery had been conducted and certain expert witnesses had been deposed, Plaintiff dismissed all claims against all defendants without prejudice. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion for an award of expert witness fees for the actual time that the experts Plaintiffs had designated spent testifying during their respective depositions as costs under N.C. Gen. Stat. 7A-305. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the trial court erred by awarding the expert witness fees as costs because Defendants were statutorily required to subpoena the expert witnesses as a prerequisite for obtaining such relief. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the General Assembly eliminated the traditional subpoena requirement associated with the taxing of certain expert witness fees as costs in civil actions; and (2) therefore, the trial court correctly taxed expert witness fees in accordance with section 7A-305(d)(11) against Plaintiff.