Dickhoff v. GreenAnnotate this Case
Respondents, on behalf of their six-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, alleged that Appellants, a medical doctor and medical center, negligently failed to diagnose Jocelyn's cancer and that if they had timely diagnosed Jocelyn's cancer, her cancer would have been curable. But, Respondents asserted, because of the delayed diagnosis, it was likely Jocelyn's cancer would be fatal. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellants, concluding (1) Minnesota law does not permit a patient to recover damages when a physician's negligence causes the patient to lose only a chance of recovery or survival; and (2) Respondents' proof of causation failed as a matter of law. The court of appeals reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellants. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Minnesota law permits recovery for "loss of chance" in a medical malpractice action; and (2) Respondents created a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of causation.