SW Legal studies in Business

Negligence in Medical Care Properly Left to Jury for Determination
Description Appeals court held that a claim of negligence in medical care was properly submitted to the jury for determination. The jury found that the physician did not violate the standard of care expected under the circumstances, so the matter was properly resolved.
Topic Torts
Key Words Standard of Care; Liability; Malpractice
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Hartley was operated on by Dr. Herndon. During the surgery, which lasted over eight hours, between 75 and 100 sponges were used. At the end of the surgery, Herndon asked a nurse if all sponges were accounted for and she said yes, but in fact one was left in Hartley, requiring another surgery later to remove it. Hartley sued for malpractice based on negligence. The jury held for Herndon. Hartley appealed.

Affirmed. Such a claim of negligence is properly sent to the jury for determination since strict liability does not apply. The jury is to determine if, based on the evidence, the defendant failed to provide the standard of care expected under the circumstances. It did not believe that to be the case, so the verdict stands.

Citation Hartley v. Herndon, 46 P.3d 186 (Ct. Civ. App., Okla., 2002)

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