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Notable Ohio Supreme Court Decision Requires Medical Expert Witness Testimony In Lack of Informed Consent Claims Against Physicians

January 17, 2012

Last month the Supreme Court of Ohio overturned a controversial appeals court ruling regarding expert witnesses in cases where patients sue doctors over lack of informed consent.  As noted in an article posted at American Medical News (, the court stated in its decision:

“The cause of action for a physician’s failure to obtain informed consent is a medical claim, and a patient bears the burden to present expert medical testimony identifying the material risks and dangers of the medical procedure and showing that one or more of those undisclosed risks and dangers materialized and proximately caused injury.  Expert testimony is necessary because these elements of the tort require the knowledge, training and experience of a medical expert to assist the jury in rendering its verdict.”

According to Bret C. Perry, an attorney for the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland & Northern Ohio, this landmark decision will likely strengthen tort reform protections and prevent more lawsuits against physicians.

For a more detailed look at the case decision, visit

Or access the complete decision at Robert White v. Warren Leimbach II, MD, Supreme Court of Ohio, Dec. 8, 2011.

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