In his 2012 medical malpractice trial, Dr. Samuel Maryles appeared in two capacities. He was the defendant. And he also served as an expert witness, in the eyes of the state Appellate Court. The court said the mixing of roles was improper, and the judges overturned a trial court verdict that had spared Maryles liability in a wrongful death case.
“At trial, the court ruled that, although he had not been offered as an expert, Maryles had provided expert opinion testimony under the plaintiff’s examination and that, under the open-the-door doctrine, it would allow the defendants to elicit similar testimony within the same scope,” according to the Appellate Court’s July 28 decision. “The plaintiff argues that Maryles’ subsequent testimony under the defendants’ direct examination went beyond the scope of the initial offer, and thus the admission of such testimony was an abuse of the court’s discretion.”