Justia Medical Malpractice Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court
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A doctor and his wife filed suit against a hospital and several of its treating physicians (collectively, Defendants) alleging medical malpractice. The jury entered a verdict for Defendants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in excluding alleged statements made by employees of Defendant under S.D. Codified Laws 19-12-14 as this issue was waived, and even if it was not waived, there was no offer of proof that provided factual context to demonstrate that the statements should not have been excluded under the statute; and (2) the circuit court did not err in precluding the impeachment of a defense expert witness after finding it was not relevant. View "Ronan v. Sanford Health" on Justia Law

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Lita St. John sued Dr. Linda Peterson, alleging medical malpractice in repairing a vesicovaginal fistula. The jury entered a verdict for Peterson. St. John appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in excluding evidence of other cases where Peterson failed to repair vesicovaginal fistulas. The Supreme Court held that the trial court misstated and apparently misapplied the balancing test of S.C. R. Evid. 403, which states that relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. Because it was possible that the exclusion of the evidence in all probability affected the outcome of the jury's verdict and thereby constituted prejudicial error, the Court reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded. View "St. John v. Peterson" on Justia Law

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Denise Estes filed suit against Dr. David Lonbaken, a podiatrist, for medical malpractice, alleging that Lonbaken negligently treated a neuroma on her foot and seeking damages. Estes filed the complaint in Buffalo County. Lonbaken moved to change venue to Hughes County, claiming Hughes County was the proper venue because Estes' surgery and follow-up treatment took place in Hughes County. The trial court granted Lonbaken's motion to change venue. At issue on appeal was whether Buffalo County was a proper venue for the action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the facts creating the necessity for bringing the action took place exclusively in Hughes County, and as such, the proper venue was Hughes County. View "Estes v. Lonbaken" on Justia Law