Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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Dr. Solman performed arthroscopic surgery on Grussing’s knee in June 2014. At her July 9 appointment, Grussing reported swelling in her knee to a physician's assistant, who recommended physical therapy. Dr. Solman did not examine Grussing. Grussing returned to Dr. Solman’s office on July 18, again reporting pain and swelling. Dr. Solman aspirated Grussing’s knee, observed that the synovial fluid looked normal, and did not test the fluid for infection. Grussing continued to experience pain and swelling. In October, a different physician aspirated Grussing’s knee and sent the fluid for analysis. The knee was chronically infected. Grussing underwent a total knee replacement. The primary issue in Grussing’s malpractice suit was whether Dr. Solman breached the standard of care when he decided not to test the synovial fluid aspirated during her July 18, appointment. Grussing opened her case with Dr. Solman’s deposition testimony; he acknowledged that fluid that does not appear cloudy can test positive for bacterial infection. The defense’s expert, Dr. Matava testified that there was no way to confirm that Grussing’s knee was infected on July 18. The Eighth Circuit affirmed a defense verdict, rejecting arguments that the district court erroneously limited Grussing’s cross-examination of Matava during an attempt to elicit testimony that fluid that is not cloudy can test positive for bacterial infection and that it failed to correct defense counsel’s misstatement of law during closing argument. The correct burden of proof was properly emphasized throughout trial. View "Grussing v. Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, Inc." on Justia Law

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The family of the deceased and administrator of his estate filed suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346(b)(1), after a radiologist with the VA failed to identify a cancerous mass. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the United States, holding that although the VA failed to deliver the standard of care that the deceased deserved, the evidence presented was insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the VA's negligence proximately caused plaintiffs' damages. Because the medical malpractice claims failed, so too must the wrongful-death claims. View "Day v. United States" on Justia Law