- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
- Date Filed: 01-27-2021
- Case #: A167924
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Tookey, J. & Aoyagi, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Johnson appealed the general judgment in which the lower court granted Dr. Keiper a directed verdict on all of Johnsons’ malpractice claims. Johnson assigned error to the lower court’s decision to grant a directed verdict in favor of Dr. Keiper and argued that the expert testimony of Dr. Dietrich provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate causation and damages regarding Dr. Keiper’s negligence while performing spinal surgery on Johnson. “A plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must offer expert testimony that, to a reasonable medical probability, the alleged breach of the standard of care caused the plaintiff’s injuries.” Cleland v. Wilcox, 273 Or 883, 887-88, 543 P2d 1032 (1975). However, certainty of the degree of harm is not by definition required to prove causation. Hansen v. Bussman, 274 Or 757, 759, 549 P2d 1265 (1976). The Court held that the lower court erred when they rejected Dr. Dietrich’s testimony regarding causation between Dr. Keiper’s negligent conduct and it having caused “some” of Johnson’s foot drop. Dr. Dietrich’s testimony provided “as much certainty as circumstances permitted” because a jury could have found Johnson’s lasting injury was caused by the negligent placement of a pedicle screw. Reversed and remanded.