February 19, 2016

Boyce v. Brown | Case Brief - 77 P.2d 455 (Ariz. 1938) - Airzona Supreme Court

FACTS: The doctor performed an operation on Boyce who had broken her ankle.  He attended to her for some three to four weeks.  Seven years later she had pain in the ankle and reconsulted him.  He did some minor treatment but the ankle did not improve.  Another doctor x-rayed the ankle and determined the screw needed to be removed.  This was done and she is alright.  She sued the first doctor for malpractice.

HISTORY: Jury instructed to find for the defendant because of no competent testimony.

ISSUE: Was there sufficient evidence to sustain a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE:

Laws governing malpractice:

1) one is assumed to have necessary skill and take reasonable care

2) must have done something that the medical community which practice forbids or omit something the standard requires

3) standard practice of the community must be shown by evidence and the jury cannot speculate as to what that standard is

4) negligence must be affirmatively proven not simply shown by non-effective treatment

5) must be established by expert medical testimony

6) testimony by other physicians that they would have followed a different line of treatment is not sufficient unless the treatment deviated from the community norms

The P claims that an x-ray should have been taken and a layman should know that; the fact is that D's examination was not a deviance from normal course of treatment.

DISPOSITION: Affirmed.