Malpractice verdict against victim upheld despite errors in admission of evidence
Noonan v. Lansing Orthopedic and Mark D. Russell, D.O., involved a malpractice verdict in favor of a doctor. The victim claimed that Russell mis-handled his shoulder surgery, necessitating two subsequent surgeries. The trial resulted in a verdict that Russell did not screw up the surgery, despite the testimony of the doctor who did the repair. Noonan appealed, arguing that evidentiary errors made by the Ingham County trial judge denied him a fair trial.
The Court of Appeals panel that heard Noonan's appeal ruled that even if the verdict was based on several evidentiary errors in favor of the doctor, the victim could not overturn the verdict because the prejudicial errors were not directly related to the defendant's negligence. Sadly, the Court did not consider the fact that all of the alleged errors would have prejudiced the finder of fact in considering the weight and credibility of Plaintiff and his expert witnesses.