Appeal from Wayne, George T. Martin, J.
V. J. Brennan, P. J., and Bashara and R. M. Maher, JJ.
1. Witnesses -- Expert Witnesses -- Medical Malpractice -- Standard of Care -- Burden of Proof.
It is a general rule in medical malpractice actions that expert testimony is essential to establish that a doctor has violated a required standard of care unless the injury complained of is of such a nature that a layman could find negligence, and the burden of producing expert testimony at trial is on the plaintiff where it is necessary to prove his case.
2. Witnesses -- Expert Witnesses -- Exchange of Lists -- Court Rules -- Adding Witnesses -- Good Cause -- Discretion.
The court rules applicable to Wayne County require that witness lists be exchanged before the date set for a pretrial conference and that no witness, including expert witnesses, may be called at the trial of the case unless listed in that exchange except by leave granted upon a showing of good cause; therefore, where a plaintiff failed to persuade a trial court that his motion to name an additional witness was based upon sufficient reasons to constitute good cause, and there was no abuse of discretion, the motion was properly denied (GCR 1963, 301.10, Wayne County Circuit Court Rule 12.1).
3. Witnesses -- Expert Witnesses -- Determining Testimony -- Replacing Witness -- Court Rules -- Fair Trial.
A plaintiff who submits the name of an expert on a witness list prior to a pretrial conference as a witness for the plaintiff without first contacting that expert to determine whether he will in fact testify for the plaintiff is not denied a fair trial where he later discovers that the expert's testimony is not in his favor and the court in compliance with the court rules properly refuses to allow counsel to replace the expert (Wayne County Circuit Court Rule 12.1).
4. Evidence -- Verdicts -- Weight of Evidence -- New Trial -- Abuse of Discretion -- Appeal and Error.
A claim that a verdict is against the great weight of the evidence can only be raised by a motion for new trial, and denial of that motion will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
Complaint by Jessie Murphy against Robert A. Sobel, M. D., for damages arising from medical malpractice. Judgment for defendant. Plaintiff appeals by leave granted.
Plaintiff on January 15, 1971, commenced a medical malpractice action against defendant. Following a four day trial, the jury returned a verdict of no cause of action in favor of defendant. Plaintiff appeals, raising two issues.
First, plaintiff claims the trial court, by refusing to allow counsel to name and replace a medical expert witness several weeks prior to the trial date, abused its discretion and thus prevented plaintiff from having a fair trial. An examination of the record indicates to us that ...