North Carolina: Medical Expertise Not Narrowly Defined, Oncologist Could Certainly Testify as to Esophageal Cancer

North Carolina: Medical Expertise Not Narrowly Defined, Oncologist Could Certainly Testify as to Esophageal Cancer

Medical experts need not be shown to be experts in the narrow field that a party contends is relevant to the issue in the case—here whether the deceased former employee’s esophageal cancer resulted from asbestos exposure—it was sufficient that the experts were experienced in oncology, indicated a North Carolina appellate court recently.  The employer’s expert’s testimony that the deceased’s cancer was not caused by asbestos exposure, but rather related to Barrett's esophagus was, therefore, supported by competent evidence.  The deceased’s representative contended that her experts, who were experienced in esophageal cancer, should have been the only experts considered by the Commission, was erroneous, held the appellate court.  Moreover, where a non-mandatory provision of federal law recognized the existence of an "association" between asbestos exposure and esophageal cancer, that provision was not dispositive of the issue of whether decedent's esophageal cancer was caused by asbestos exposure.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Wise v. Alcoa, 2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 1235 (Dec. 3, 2013) [2013 N.C. App. LEXIS 1235 (Dec. 3, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 128.05 [128.05]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.



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