White v. LeimbachAnnotate this Case
Patient filed an action seeking recovery for injuries following a medical procedure Doctor performed on him allegedly without his informed consent. The trial court granted a directed verdict in favor of Doctor. The district court reversed. At issue on appeal was whether a claimant must present expert testimony on each element of the cause of action for failure to obtain informed consent to establish a prima facie case. The Supreme Court reversed the appellate court and reinstated the verdict of the trial court, holding (1) expert medical testimony is required to establish both the material risks and dangers involved with a medical procedure and that an undisclosed risk or danger actually materialized and proximately caused injury to the patient; (2) if a patient fails to present medical expert testimony that it is more likely than not that an undisclosed risk of a surgical procedure actually materialized and proximately caused injury, then a trial court may properly grant a directed verdict; and (3) because there was no evidence to support each element of Patient's informed-consent claim in this case, the trial court properly directed a verdict.