Justia Medical Malpractice Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Intellectual Property
In this case, the plaintiff, Virginia Cora Ward, the administratrix of the estate of Edmund Edward Ward, appealed against the verdict in favor of Dr. Ernst J. Schaefer. Edmund Edward Ward, who suffered from a rare genetic deficiency that caused his body to refrain from producing a critical blood enzyme, was a subject of experimental enzyme therapy developed by Dr. Schaefer and others. The plaintiff claimed that Dr. Schaefer fraudulently induced Ward to participate in the experimental protocol and failed to obtain informed consent for his participation. However, the jury disagreed and returned a verdict in favor of Dr. Schaefer.On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment of the lower court. The appellate court found that the district court did not err in excluding the patent for the experimental drug from evidence, as its probative value was substantially outweighed by the potential for confusion. Further, the court found no error in the jury instructions provided by the district court regarding the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and the application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. The court concluded that the jury instructions sufficiently conveyed the legal standards to be applied, and the plaintiff failed to show that the occurrence of a medical condition during the experimental protocol implied that the protocol caused the condition. View "Ward v. Schaefer" on Justia Law