Texas Supreme Court confirms Review Standards for Ch. 74 Reports

In Texas, in order to proceed with a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must file one or more expert reports that explain in detail the applicable standards of care, how those standards were violated in the specific case as well as an explanation of how the violations of those standards caused injury to the patient involved in the case.

Recently,. the Texas Supreme Court reversed a Court of Appeals decision because the appellate court’s review of a Chapter 74 report extended beyond merely confirming the report represented a fair summary of the expert opinion explaining the “how and why” of negligence and causation in a birth injury case as required by Tex.Civ.Prac. & Rem.Code Ch. 74. The Court of Appeals’ review extended to the issue of the expert’s credibility, which is not permissible. For that reason, the Texas Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and remanded the case to the trial court:

The “fair summary” benchmark is not an evidentiary standard, and at this early stage of the litigation, “we do not require a claimant to present evidence in the report as if it were actually litigating the merits.” Id. (internal quote marks omitted). Rather, “[t]he ultimate evidentiary value of the opinions proffered”—that is, whether there actually is a breach and causal connection—“is a matter to be determined at summary judgment and beyond.”

Read the opinion by clicking here: E.D. (minor, by and through parents as next friends) v. Texas Health Care, P.L.L.C., 65 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. __ (May 6, 2022) (per curiam) (2022 WL 1434658), rev’g No. 02-18-00300-CV, 2020 WL 1057332 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth Mar. 5, 2020) (mem. op. by Wade Birdwell)

Girards Law Firm handles medical malpractice cases involving serious injuries or death. Contact us at 214-346-9529 or [email protected] for review of your possible case. 

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