Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ohio Supreme Court: Doctor's Words of Sympathy Not Admissible

When patient Jeanette Johnson was transferred to a new facility following complications with her gall bladder surgery, Dr. Randall Smith took her hand and said, "I take full responsibility for this.  Everything will be okay."

During the subsequent medical malpractice trial, the statement was not admitted, due to Ohio's "apology statute," R.C. 2317.43.  The jury found in favor of Dr. Smith.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Ohio overruled the Eleventh District Court of Appeals and reinstated the jury's verdict, finding that the apology statute did apply to Dr. Smith's statement.

You can read the full opinion here and watch the oral argument here.

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