No expert report needed in slander suit against healthcare providers, Texas appellate court finds

By David Yates | Sep 26, 2017

HOUSTON – While Texas’ tort reform efforts have certainly impacted med-mal litigation, requiring expert reports when suing healthcare providers, a slander suit brought by one physician against another is not in need of such “specialized knowledge,” according to the Frist Court of Appeals.

In 2015, Dr. Phu Huu Nguyen and his business, Wellness Pharmacy, filed a slander suit against Dr. Gyasuddin Syed and Southeast Texas Institute of Pain Management.

The defendants moved to have the action dismissed, arguing the plaintiffs’ claims are health care liability claims and the plaintiffs failed to serve them with an expert report, as required by Section 74 of the Texas Medical Liability Act.  

When the trial court disagreed, the defendants appealed.

On Sept. 21, justices affirmed the lower court’s ruling, finding that “the specialized knowledge of a medical expert” is not necessary in order to prove the plaintiffs’ claims.

“We conclude that appellees’ claims of slander, tortious interference with existing and prospective business relationships, and business disparagement do not constitute health care liability claims,” the opinion states.

“Accordingly, we hold that the trial court did not err in denying appellants’ motion to dismiss.”

Cause No. 01-16-00856-CV

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