The Missouri Courts of Appeals issued four recent decisions pertaining to medical malpractice law in Missouri.
The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District, in St. Louis Missouri, held that a trial court judge taking over the questioning of plaintiffs’ expert was in error and prejudicial, and reversed and remanded the case for a new trial. In Watson, et al. v. Tenet Healthsystem, et al., No. 91997, a jury awarded a verdict in plaintiffs’ favor for their wrongful death and medical negligence case. Defendants appealed, arguing that there was no evidence of causation. During the trial, the judge asked his own questions of the plaintiffs’ expert witness, and after he was done turned the witness over to the defendants for cross examination; the expert never did testify as to causation. However, the Court of Appeals held that an outright reversal on this basis would be unjust considering the trial court judge’s behavior in taking over questioning the witness, and instead ordered a new trial.