Expert witness for the plaintiff

A Massachusetts doctor, testifying this afternoon for the plaintiff, said it’s his opinion a Seneca doctor was “grossly negligent” in his care of a surgery patient who died in a hospice home at 27 years old. Dr. Robert Carpenter testified as an expert witness in ear, nose, throat, and neck thyroid surgery. He testified for the plaintiff, Elvis Pressley. Pressley is the father and personal representative of the late Cassondra Sweenor, who died in 2009. Pressley’s case alleges medical malpractice against Dr. Frank Rao. Dr. Carpenter said he regarded a thyroidectomy on Sweenor as “unnecessary.” Earlier the plaintiff’s side presented figures that showed Sweenor’s medical, helicopter, and funeral expenses nearly $330 thousand. Carpenter said his fees to review cases are $350 an hour and he charges $5 thousand for each day of trial testimony. Sweenor was originally sent by helicopter from Oconee Medical Center to Charleston, a flight diverted to Columbia because of problems the patient experienced aboard.