Malpractice verdict overturned by Court of Appeals
Heather Swanson achieved a very modest verdict after Jeannie L. Rowe, D.O., punctured her aorta while attempting to drain an ovarian cyst. Swanson's verdict was overturned several years ago, when the Court of Appeals ruled that her Notice of Intent to the doctor didn't adequately apprise the doctor of "how" the doctor's failure to locate organs and internal structures before surgically penetrating her abdomen caused the punctured aorta.The Supreme Court overturned the [rather absurd] latter holding and returned the case to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration taking into account "substantial justice." The Court of Appeals was forced to conclude that the Notice of Intent was executed in good faith and that it adequately apprised the health care professional of the nature of the claim against her. The judges still overturned the verdict, yet again, though. The Court ruled that since Swanson's expert conceded that such a puncture could happen twice in one thousand surgeries without negligence, it was inappropriate to hold Dr. Rowe responsible for the resulting injury unless Swanson could prove the precise negligent act that Rowe committed.