§55-7B-7. Testimony of expert witness on standard of care.
(a) The applicable standard of care and a defendant's failure
to meet the standard of care, if at issue, shall be established in
medical professional liability cases by the plaintiff by testimony
of one or more knowledgeable, competent expert witnesses if
required by the court. Expert testimony may only be admitted in
evidence if the foundation therefor is first laid establishing
that: (1) The opinion is actually held by the expert witness; (2)
the opinion can be testified to with reasonable medical
probability; (3) the expert witness possesses professional
knowledge and expertise coupled with knowledge of the applicable
standard of care to which his or her expert opinion testimony is
addressed; (4) the expert witness maintains a current license to
practice medicine with the appropriate licensing authority of any
state of the United States: Provided, That the expert witness'
license has not been revoked or suspended in the past year in any
state; and (5) the expert witness is engaged or qualified in a
medical field in which the practitioner has experience and/or
training in diagnosing or treating injuries or conditions similar
to those of the patient. If the witness meets all of these
qualifications and devoted, at the time of the medical injury,
sixty percent of his or her professional time annually to the
active clinical practice in his or her medical field or specialty,
or to teaching in his or her medical field or speciality in an
accredited university, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the witness is qualified as an expert. The parties shall have the
opportunity to impeach any witness' qualifications as an expert.
Financial records of an expert witness are not discoverable or
relevant to prove the amount of time the expert witness spends in
active practice or teaching in his or her medical field unless good
cause can be shown to the court.
(b) Nothing contained in this section may be construed to
limit a trial court's discretion to determine the competency or
lack of competency of a witness on a ground not specifically
enumerated in this section.