Jaramillo v. RamosAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that a plaintiff relying on Nev. Rev. Stat. 41A.100's rebuttable presumption for a prima facie case of negligence need not provide expert testimony to survive a defendant's summary judgment motion but, rather, must only establish the facts that entitle her to the statute's rebuttable presumption of negligence.
Plaintiff, special administrator to the estate of Maria Jaramillo, sued Defendant for medical malpractice under section 41A.100(1), asserting that Defendant breached the professional standard of care by unintentionally leaving a wire in Jaramillo's left breast. Relying on section 41A.100(1)(a), Plaintiff did not attach a medical expert affidavit. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendant, concluding that Defendant rebutted the presumption of negligence by providing expert testimony about the standard of care, and that, in the absence of contrary expert testimony from Plaintiff, it was uncontroverted that the unintentional leaving of a wire fragment in Jaramillo's body was not a result of negligence. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the expert declaration Defendant presented supporting her summary judgment did not conclusively negate the statutory presumption of negligence but merely created a material factual dispute for trial on the issue of negligence; and (2) a genuine issue of material fact existed on the issue of negligence.