April 18, 2020

Mohr v. Williams | Case Brief - Supreme Court of Minnesota - 95 Minn. 261, 104 N.W. 12 (1905)

FACTS: Plaintiff consulted Defendant (an ear specialist) concerning trouble in her right ear. The plaintiff consented to an operation. While she was unconscious, the Defendant found there to be no problem with the right ear but that the left ear needed to be operated on. The Defendant performed the operation on the left ear and it was successful.

HISTORY: Jury verdict in favor of the Plaintiff for $14,322.50. Trial judge denied Defendant's motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict but granted new trial on grounds that the damages were excessive.

ISSUE: Does consent need to be granted while conscious or can consent be transferred? 

HOLDING: Yes and No 

RATIONALE: This was not a life threatening injury which required the doctor to do it right then and there. Whether the left ear (which received the operation ) would have created problems for the Plaintiff is left was a question of fact for the jury. There was not wrongful intent to make the action criminal.

DISPOSITION: Order Affirmed.