Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Goldberg v. Boone (Ct. of Appeals)

Filed December 12, 2006--Opinion by Judge Lynn A. Battaglia. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Irma Raker in which Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and Judge Clayton Greene, Jr., join.

Petitioner, Seth M. Goldberg, M.D., sought review of the Court of Special Appeals' judgment determining that the Circuit Court for Montgomery County erred in submitting an informed consent instruction to the jury because physicians in Maryland do not have a duty to inform their patients that there are other, more experienced surgeons in the region, but that the error did not warrant a new trial on the issue of negligence. Dr. Goldberg also sought review of the intermediate appellate court's conclusion that the cross-examination questions regarding one of the D.C. snipers asked of one of Dr. Goldberg's expert witnesses was so prejudicial as to warrant a new trial on the sole issue of damages.

The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the Court of Special Appeals, concluding that, although the line of questioning about the sniper case was improper, its prejudicial effects did not transcend the trial judge's curative measures so as to warrant a new trial. The Court also determined that the trial judge had properly instructed the jury on the issue of informed consent because whether a reasonable person, in Mr. Boone's position, would have deemed the fact that there were other, more experienced surgeons in the region as material to the decision whether to risk having the revisionary mastoidectomy undertaken by Dr. Goldberg was a factual issue for the jury to determine.

The full opinion is available in WordPerfect and PDF.

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