Illinois Appellate Court Finds that Examining Physician Held Out as Expert is Not Subject to Medical Malpractice

In a medical malpractice case brought against an expert witness who was alleged to have misdiagnosed the plaintiff in a prior malpractice case, Philip W. Sandler sued Jerry J. Sweet, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist who was retained as a defense expert when Sandler sued Downers Grove-based Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. Sandler asserted that Dr. Sweet chose not to correctly diagnose the extent of the brain injury he allegedly suffered because of Advocate’s negligence. The Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the judgment that dismissed the complaint against Dr. Sweet and explained, “Because physicians conducting medical examinations at the request of third parties assume a fundamentally different role from treating physicians, no physician-patient relationship exists between Dr. Sweet and the plaintiff and, therefore, Dr. Sweet owed no duty of care to the plaintiff.” Furthermore, the trial judge was also correct in dismissing…

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