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Malpractice verdict overturned for a second time

Heather Swanson sued the Port Huron Hospital and her doctor, Jeannie L. Rowe, D.O., after Rowe punctured Swanson's aorta while attempting to drain an ovarian cyst.  The case was tried before a jury which awarded Swanson a modest verdict.  The Defendants appealed, initially arguing that the verdict should be dismissed because Swanson's Notice of Intent to Sue did not adequately explain to the doctor how her negligence caused injury to Swanson.  Two judges of the Court of Appeals agreed and wrote an opinion dismissing the verdict.  Judge Peter O'Connell dissented from that outcome, and on appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals majority.  It sent the case back to the Court of Appeals to consider whether the NOI represented a "good faith" attempt to address the relevant issues, and to consider the remaining appellate issues raised by the Defense. This time, the Court of Appeals panel agreed that the NOI met the Supreme Court's threshold test of good faith and reversed its previous holding.  Nevertheless, it again over-turned Swanson's jury verdict after finding error in the judge's instruction to the jury.  Since the Plaintiff's expert agreed that such a puncture could occur, two times in one thousand, without negligence, the Court of Appeals held that the jury was not properly instructed and sent the case back for a new trial.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262