Medical malpractice defendants granted partial summary disposition
The Personal Representative of Sandra Peetz sued Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and two doctors after Peetz died following a carotid endarterectomy (CEA). The family presented two qualified physician specialists who offered the opinion that her physicians' management of Peetz high blood pressure had caused her to suffer a preventable fatal stroke. The Defendants had previously secured a ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court striking all claims by the family's experts' that arose out of their theory that Peetz's brain injury was caused by her brain retracting from the skull and causing bleeding: the high court majority had disagreed with the lower court and concluded that Peetz's experts could not substantiate their opinions with documented medical research.
After the court was returned to the lower court, trial judge granted summary disposition to the defendants, holding that none of the family's experts' opinions on negligent causation were admissible. The family appealed. The second time through the appellate system, the Court of Appeals panel agreed that part of the case must be summarily dismissed, given the Supreme Court's ruling, but also reinstated a limited theory presented by the family. The appellate judges ruled that the trial judge's dismissal of the entirety of the case was based upon a superficial mis-reading of the experts' deposition testimony, and that an independent cause of action survived the Supreme Court's prior holding.