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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Res Ipsa Loquitur – Mistaken DNR

Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Res Ipsa Loquitur – Mistaken DNR

Plaintiff alleges that a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order was mistakenly placed in the medical records of plaintiff’s decedent, leading the defendant-hospital’s staff to allow the decedent to die without intervention when he suffered a cardiopulmonary episode while in the hospital’s care. According to the complaint, the origin of the DNR form is unknown to plaintiff; thus, the res ipsa loquitur doctrine permits the inference of negligence, and plaintiff was not required to have the decedent’s medical records reviewed by an expert.

We reverse the trial court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s negligence claim. However, we affirm the dismissal of plaintiff’s breach of contract claim.

North Carolina’s jurisprudence does not allow a plaintiff to recover under a breach of contract theory for what is, in reality, an action for medical malpractice.

Estate of Wyer v. Alamance Regional Medical Center, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 012-571-22, 13 pp.) (Hunter Murphy, J.) Appealed from Alamance County Superior Court (Kevin Bridges, J.) Kya Johnson for plaintiffs; Dennis Bailey for defendant. 2022-NCCOA-940


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