O’Connor v. Newport Hosp.Annotate this Case
After Plaintiff underwent cervical disk replacement surgery at Rhode Island Hospital she suffered a stroke caused by a vertebral artery dissection. Dr. Gita Pensa at Newport Hospital treated Plaintiff when she first complained of pain due to the stroke, but Plaintiff was later discharged from the hospital. Plaintiff filed this medical malpractice action against Newport Hospital, Dr. Pensa, and NewPort Emergency Physicians, Inc. (collectively, Defendants), alleging negligence and lack of informed consent. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants, finding that Plaintiff had failed to prove that Dr. Pensa had breached the standard of care. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded for a new trial, holding that the trial justice’s erroneous admission into evidence of three documents during the voir dire of Plaintiff’s standard-of-care expert, combined with the questionable wording of one question on the jury verdict form, was sufficiently prejudicial to warrant a new trial.