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Court of Appeals throws out malpractice jury verdict in favor of patient

Trudy Miller sued the Michigan Ear Institute claiming that a surgical procedure on her left ear created a leak of cerebrospinal fluid that resulted in a loss of hearing in that ear.  The jury awarded her a verdict in the amount of $118,000.00.  The defendants argued that she didn't present enough evidence to support her claim that her hearing loss resulted from negligence.  The trial judge disagreed and the defendants appealed.

This month the Court of Appeals agreed with the defendants and threw out the jury verdict.  The appellate judges concluded that the Plaintiff's expert physician's testimony only supported a "possibility" that additional testing by the defendant doctor would have prevented the hearing loss.  Because the expert's testimony was couched as a "suspicion" that work that the defendant negligently neglected would have improved the plaintiff's outcome, the court held that it could not support a verdict in favor of the patient.

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