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Tag Archives: Medical Malpractice

Trusts & Estates – Civil Practice – Venue – Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice (access required)

Estate of Davis v. Groff As administrator of the decedent’s estate, plaintiff was entitled to bring suit in the county where he resides. This rule of law, which was set down by our Supreme Court in Trust Co. v. Finch, 232 N.C. 485, 61 S.E.2d 377 (1950), was not and could not be changed by this court’s holding in Roberts v. Adventure Holdings, LLC, 703 S.E.2d 784 (2010), disc. review denied, 365 N.C. 187, 707 S.E.2d 241 (2011). Furthermore, although Roberts held that a guardian ad litem’s residence was insufficient to justify venue, the court also explained that the law regarding administrators and other fiduciaries did not apply to GALs.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Standard of Care – Proximate Cause – Civil Practice – Directed Verdict (access required)

Day v. Brant Even though plaintiffs’ proximate cause expert agreed on cross-examination that assigning percentages to a patient’s survival changes was “speculation”, the expert’s testimony as a whole was sufficient to get to the jury on the issue of proximate cause. We reverse the trial court’s grant of a directed verdict for defendants.

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Tort/Negligence – FTCA – Medical Malpractice – Remedies – California Law – Reversionary Trust (access required)

Cibula v. U.S. In this case in which a family won a multi-million dollar Federal Tort Claim Act award from the U.S. for their child’s brain damage caused by government doctors, the 4th Circuit remands the case for a second time for the Virginia federal district court to grant the government a reversionary interest in the child’s future care award under the controlling California law.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Evidence – Expert Witness – Nurse Defendant – OB-GYN Witness (access required)

Creekmore v. Maryview Hospital Although an OB-GYN did not have an active practice in nursing, he performed postpartum monitoring of high-risk patients with preeclampsia and could testify as an expert in a med-mal suit alleging a nurse’s failure to monitor plaintiff led to her stroke and permanent brain damage, and the 4th Circuit upholds the $900,000 judgment for plaintiff.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Personal Injury – Mental Suffering – Cancer Misdiagnosis (access required)

Harmon v. Eastern Dermatology & Pathology, P.A. Because defendant negligently switched biopsy samples, plaintiff was diagnosed with cancer and underwent unnecessary surgery. In her personal injury claim, plaintiff sought damages for mental, as well as physical, suffering. This was not the same as asserting a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress. We affirm the judgment for plaintiff and the trial court’s denial of defendant’s post-trial motions.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Standard of Care – Expert Witness – Complicated Procedure (access required)

Crocker v. Roethling An obstetrician from a large hospital in a large metropolitan area of Arizona was properly rejected as an expert witness when he would have testified that the defendant-doctor — in a much smaller hospital — should have performed a complicated procedure, which the witness had never performed himself nor seen performed. We affirm summary judgment for defendant.

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Civil Practice – Venue – Unemancipated Minor – Guardian ad Litem – Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Appeals (access required)

Jenkins v. Hearn Vascular Surgery, P.A. Even though the infant plaintiff has spent her entire life in a Forsyth County hospital, since she is an unemancipated minor who has not been abandoned, she is considered a resident of her parents’ home in Alamance County. All parties are Alamance County residents; therefore, venue in Forsyth County is improper.

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Tort/Negligence – Medical Malpractice – Emergency Responders – Plaintiff Believed Dead – Immunity – Gross Negligence Allegation – First Impression (access required)

Green v. Kearney Even though plaintiff labels defendants’ actions as “gross negligence,” defendants’ alleged actions — in failing to ascertain that plaintiff was in fact alive - were merely negligent. Therefore, defendants are entitled to immunity under G.S. § 90-21.14. We affirm summary judgment for the defendant-emergency responders.

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Insurance – Medical Malpractice – Doctor Shortage – Full-Time, Temporary Work (access required)

Cinoman v. University of North Carolina There are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the plaintiff-physician was an independent contractor or an employee of the defendant-university hospital and as to whether or not plaintiff was required to have his own medical malpractice insurance. We reverse summary judgment for defendants.

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Medical malpractice actions continue to fall  (access required)

The number of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in North Carolina continued to decline in the first half of 2011, and many lawyers expect the trend to gain momentum when tort reform becomes effective next month. According to the latest statistics available from the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, 227 med-mal suits were filed in the state from the beginning of this year to June 30. Ten more cases were filed during the same period last year.

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