In your medical malpractice case in New York, can you bring in three of four medical experts, to all say the same thing to bolster your case?
Why are Expert Witnesses Required?
In a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff is required to bring in an expert to support the fact that:
1. There was wrongdoing
2. This wrongdoing caused the injury
3. The injury is significant or permanent
Many times in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff will have to present multiple medical experts not only to establish liability or wrongdoing but also to show causation that the wrongdoing caused the injury. Additionally, the plaintiff will also have to include another expert or multiple experts to talk about the extent of his injuries and damages.
A Strategy that is not Allowed
Now, being an injured victim, you might want to know why not simply bring two, three, or four doctors to all say the same thing. Because when you bring in so many of these doctors, all showing that the defense, the doctor, who you have sued, did something improper. This will clearly bolster your case and give the jury more ammunition to be able to find more clearly that the doctor and/or hospital you are targeting was responsible.
However, the fact of the matter is that you cannot do this. This would be known as cumulative testimony. This means that if all these three or four doctors were all saying the same thing, one after the other as they take the stand, it would be cumulative. This is actually not going to help you, even though you might feel that more is better, and building on the same theme will help the jury understand better that you are right.
This may be a nice strategy and it could work, but you are not permitted to do that. Likewise, the defense also cannot do it either. You can bring in multiple expert witnesses and doctors to testify for your case. They just cannot testify to the same thing – this is redundant and a waste of everyone’s time. One witness could testify to show wrongdoing, or multiple witnesses could testify to show different aspects of the wrongdoing.
Similarly, you can bring in another expert witness to show that the wrongdoing was the cause of your injuries, and another one to tell the jury the severity of your injuries and the future treatment that might be required.
A Strike Against You
Hence, if you try to bring in another doctor to say exactly the same thing that other doctor or doctors have testified before, then the defense will raise an objection of cumulative testimony.
Since you are not supposed to do this, the judge will take this objection of the defense seriously and rule in their favor, and stop you from putting multiple expert witnesses on the stand that are saying exactly the same thing. If one of your expert witnesses is going to be arguing the same points, arguing the same exact things as your other expert just did, then he will not be allowed to testify.