Medical malpractice cases require the testimony of a medical expert. Generally, the facts are too complex for lay persons to determine whether a patient’s doctor should be liable for the patient’s injury. In many states a medical expert’s opinion is required prior to initiating a lawsuit. However, it is important to know whether that expert witness is credible and will not lie under oath.
A surgeon who was an expert witness in a medical malpractice case has been arrested and charged with felony perjury because they gave false testimony under oath. The surgeon, Melvyn Flye, was originally licensed to practice medicine in several states and had been used as an expert witness in medical malpractice cases in both Arkansas and Missouri.
Flye had his surgical privileges suspended in 2009 from Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the St. Louis VA. The reasons for these suspensions included failure to maintain liability insurance, repeated problems with pre-operative judgment, failure to request the help of senior colleagues when complications that are life threatening occurred, not properly supervising residents, and there were concerns about post-operative complication rates.
In 2010, Flye had been an expert witness for the plaintiff in a botched gallbladder surgery case in Arkansas. During his testimony Flye told the jury that he was on staff at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and there were no restrictions. He said this despite the fact that his surgical privileges were revoked. In addition, he also lied about how many times he had been sued for medical malpractice.
Prosecutors in Arkansas opened an investigation against Flye and he was charged with felony perjury. Since that time Flye has surrendered his Missouri medical license as well as turning himself into the authorities in Arkansas. He is free on $50,000 bail pending his trial.
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