Christus Spohn Health Sys. Corp. v. Castro
In Christus Spohn Health Sys. Corp. v. Castro, No. 13-13-00302--CV, 2013 WL 6576041 (Tex. App.--Corpus Christi Dec. 12, 2013, no pet.), the plaintiff's petition included facts showing that the circumstances under which he received treatment--that allegedly negligently caused a pressure ulcer--involved trauma and intensive care unit (ICU) treatment of severe injuries following an accident. Id.
In this regard, his expert needed to be qualified to render an opinion on the applicable standard of care in those circumstances; i.e., the prevention and/or treatment of pressure ulcers in the context of ICU/trauma care. Id.
While the experts in Castro were familiar with pressure ulcers, they did not explain their experience in preventing and treating pressure ulcers in the context of ICU/trauma patients, or how their fields of practice involved the same type of ICU/trauma care that defendant Spohn provided. Id.
In that context, the Court held that the experts were unqualified because their field of practice did not involve the same type of care that Spohn provided to Castro. Id.
In reaching this holding, the Court noted that although an expert need not be a practitioner in the same specialty as the defendant to qualify as an expert, the expert is only competent if the expert has practical knowledge of what is usually and customarily done by a practitioner under circumstances similar to those confronting the defendant. See id.