Castleberry v. DeBrot

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In this medical malpractice action the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court finding Defendant negligent and the awarding damages to his deceased patient’s heirs and estate, holding that any error in the proceedings below did not require reversal. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the district court improperly instructed the jury on causation because the instructions permitted the jury to impose liability without finding the deceased patient’s injuries would not have occurred “but-for” his negligence. The Supreme Court held (1) in light of today’s holding in Burnette v. Eubanks, __ P.3d __, the trial court did not err in instructing the jury that Defendant was at fault when Defendant’s “negligence caused or contributed to the event which brought about the claims for damages”; (2) during closing argument, Plaintiffs’ counsel improperly urged the jury to decide the case on concerns other than the law and the evidence, but there was no reasonable probability the verdict would have been different without this error; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion by permitting experts to present standard-of-care testimony that doctors must “err on the safe side.” View "Castleberry v. DeBrot" on Justia Law