SB 149 Modifies the laws regarding the testimony of physicians as expert witnesses in lawsuits against physicians for improper health care
Sponsor: Schaaf
LR Number: 1002S.02I Fiscal Note:
Committee: Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action: 1/27/2011 - Second Read and Referred S Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Journal Page: S160
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2011

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Current Bill Summary


SB 149 - This act prohibits an expert witness from testifying about the appropriate medical standard of care in a case against a physician alleging improper health care services, unless the witness is a licensed physician and was actively engaged in the clinical practice of medicine and devoting at least three-fourths of their professional time to active clinical practice of substantially the same specialty as the defendant. The court shall not permit an expert in one medical specialty to testify against a physician in another medical specialty, unless the expert shows that both standards of care and practice in the two specialties are substantially the same and the expert has substantial familiarity between the specialties.

The act also specifies that a physician licensed in another state who testifies as an expert witness in a lawsuit against a physician alleging improper health care shall be considered to have a temporary license to practice medicine in this state and shall be subject to the authority of the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts notwithstanding provisions of law to the contrary.

The act makes evidence inadmissible in cases against physicians alleging improper health care services, if the evidence was obtained under an agreement with a third party who receives a contingency fee for certain actions, or if the medical expert witness has agreed to provide testimony on a contingency fee basis.

Medical expert witnesses may have their license disciplined if they provide expert testimony on a contingency fee basis or knowingly provide expert testimony that they know or should have known is false, misleading, or without medical foundation.

This act is similar to HB 597 (2007).

EMILY KALMER