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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Medical Malpractice: Defense Verdict Reversed on Appeal Due to Errors in Trial Court Below

The other day, the Tennessee Court of Appeals for the Eastern Section released its opinion in Mayo v. Shine, No. E2011-01745-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jun. 25, 2012).  The opinion is a must-read for all trial lawyers who practice in the area of medical malpractice (plaintiff or defense) because it discusses topics such as opening statements, cross-examining of a defendant, and trial judge conduct. The summary of the opinion reads as follows:
Zona Mayo (“Plaintiff”) sued Donna L. Shine, M.D., Fort Sanders Obstetrical and Gynecological Group, P.C., and Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center (“the Hospital”) alleging medical malpractice in connection with Plaintiff’s birth. After a jury trial, the Trial Court entered judgment on the jury’s verdict finding and holding that neither Dr. Shine nor the Hospital were legally responsible for any harm suffered by Plaintiff. Plaintiff appeals raising issues regarding alleged jury misconduct and alleged errors with regard to admission of evidence, among other things. We find and hold that Plaintiff is entitled to a new trial due to errors in the admission of specific evidence and the improper limitation of Plaintiff’s cross-examination of Dr. Shine, among other things. We vacate the Trial Court’s judgment and remand this case to the Trial Court for a new trial in compliance with this Opinion.
Here's a link to the opinion:

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