Stewart v. VivianAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court answered a case certified to it by the Twelfth District Court of Appeals in this medical malpractice case, holding that, for purposes of Ohio Rev. Code 2317.43(A), a statement expressing apology is “a statement that expresses a feeling of regret for an unanticipated outcome of the patient’s medical care and may include an acknowledgment that the patient’s medical care fell below the standard of care.” Under the statute, statements expressing apology are inadmissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest. The trial court in this case excluded the statements of a medical doctor, concluding that the statements were an “attempt at commiseration” and were therefore inadmissible under the apology statute. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that section 2317.43(A) is unambiguous and that the doctor’s statements were correctly excluded.