Expert Witness In Spotlight After Surgeon Incorrectly Reattaches Fingertips

After a Georgia hand surgeon reattached the wrong fingertips to a patient’s hand during surgery, an unaffiliated medical expert secured by the plaintiff testified the doctor’s conduct violated the standard of care.

Now defense counsel for Dr. Robert Howell of Georgia Hand Shoulder Elbow in Atlanta are challenging whether Washington, D.C.-based surgeon Dr. Michael Morris had been qualified to testify as an expert, leading both sides to argue their stance before the Georgia Court of Appeals.

After plaintiff Corey Cochran had the tips of three of his fingers amputated during an industrial accident, he received emergency surgery by Howell at Piedmont Hospital.

But when post-surgery fingerprints revealed Howell had reattached two of Cochran’s fingertips to the wrong fingers, Cochran sued the surgeon for medical malpractice and negligence.

On behalf of Cochran, plaintiff counsel Charles Brant of Colom and Brant Law in Atlanta called Morris, a hand reconstructionist and plastic surgeon, to serve as an expert in the case before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Eric K. Dunaway.

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