Court affirmed dismissal of med mal where plaintiff's expert did not possess the threshold qualifications
Plaintiff appealed the dismissal of his medical malpractice action. Plaintiff alleged defendant doctor prescribed an incorrect and excessive dosage of a drug for hypertension which caused him to suffer a syncopal event and he fell and was injured. Defendants argued plaintiff's expert, who provided the affidavit of merit, did not satisfy the requirements under N.J.S.A 2A:53A-41(a) to be qualified to render an expert opinion. Defendant argued plaintiff's expert did not specialize in the same specialty as defendant. Defendant was board certified in internal medicine and specialized in the practice of internal medicine. Plaintiff's expert was board certified in the American Board of Medical Specialties specialty of internal medicine but specialized in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease at the time of the incident. Motion court agreed plaintiff's expert did not possess the threshold qualifications required under subsection (a). Court agreed and found "specialized" in the statute required the expert to concentrate his or her practice of medicine in the same specialty as the defendant physician at the time of the alleged malpractice; merely having the same board certification was not sufficient.