Jun 9 2017

Courtroom Success 2017-17: Morrison Mahoney Partners Jim Bello & Tory Weigand and Associate Ellie Myers

Morrison Mahoney Partners Jim Bello and Tory Weigand, along with Associate Ellie Myers, recently prevailed in a medical malpractice case in New Hampshire Supreme Court. The Court affirmed a directed verdict in favor of our client, an orthopedic surgeon.

At the trial in the lower court, which was handled by Jim, the plaintiff alleged that our client was negligent in the performance of a total knee replacement. After the plaintiff’s expert failed to offer any testimony to establish causation to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, we filed a motion for directed verdict. Plaintiff’s counsel filed a motion to recall the plaintiff’s sole expert, but the motion to recall was denied and our motion for directed verdict was granted.

The appeal was handled by Tory and Ellie, who drafted a winning brief. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the court erred by finding the evidence insufficient to establish medical causation and by not allowing the plaintiff’s counsel to recall the plaintiff’s expert witness. In our response, we argued that the lower court properly found a lack of testimony on causation. While plaintiff’s expert testified as to the standard of care, he failed to provide any connection that our client’s deviation from the standard of care was the cause of the plaintiff’s knee pain. We further argued that the lower court was well within its discretion to deny the plaintiff’s request to recall their only expert witness after the expert had left the stand and after plaintiff’s counsel had failed to elicit any testimony on causation. After considering the briefs and records and concluding that oral arguments were unnecessary, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the lower court’s ruling of a directed verdict for the defendants.

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