Commenting on the latest draft of what will become a Restatement of the Law on Medical Malpractice from the American Law Institute, CCL President Robert S. Peck suggested that the draft needed to recognize that sometimes the defendant physician undertakes treatment that requires a different specialty. When that occurs, the rules governing expert witnesses should allow the plaintiff to have an expert who practices in the correct specialty testify about why that type of education and experience is essential and why the treating doctor committed medical negligence. 

     The ALI's Restatements are considered by many courts as authoritative descriptions of the law. Lawyers are elected to membership in the ALI based on outstanding achievements and experience. Those who comment on draft Restatements are usually members who have specialized interest or expertise in the topic. 

     In making his point about expert testimony, Peck used an example of a case he won in the Florida Supreme Court, Estate of McCall v. United States, in which inexperienced doctors botched a delivery, resulting in the young mother bleeding to death on the operating table. The doctors were awaiting a colleague who was operating at another hospital, when they could have easily sought help from veteran OB/GYN's who were on the other side of the wall, but worked for a different employer.

     Peck also commented on other aspects of the several hundred page draft, which will now take his and others' comments into account.