Trees v. Ordonez

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Tort Law
  • Date Filed: 05-31-2012
  • Case #: A139893
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; Brewer, J.; and Sercombe, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

In medical malpractice cases, expert testimony must not only establish causation, but must also provide evidence of the applicable standard of care customarily used by a reasonably careful practitioner.

Trees appealed a judgment entered against her after the trial court granted a directed verdict to Dr. Ordonez in a medical malpractice case. The trial court concluded that, although there was sufficient evidence of causation, Trees had failed to provide expert testimony that Ordonez violated the applicable standard of care in conducting a spinal surgery. At trial, Trees presented testimony from Dr. Tencer, an expert in biomechanics. The Court of Appeals found that Tencer’s testimony failed to establish the standard of care applicable to Ordonez. Although Tencer testified about the biomechanical function of the surgery, he did not provide sufficient evidence of the medical skill and care necessary to allow the case to be heard by a jury. Affirmed.

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