Willamette Law Online

Oregon Court of Appeals


ListPreviousNext


Browne v. Portland Adventist Medical Center

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-12-2012
Case #: A148020
Brewer, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A148020.pdf

Civil Procedure: When reviewing the denial of a motion for directed verdict, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, and the verdict cannot be set aside unless the court can affirmatively say that there is no evidence from which the jury could have the facts necessary to establish the elements of plaintiff's cause of action.

Portland Adventist Medical Center (Medical Center) appealed a judgment awarding Browne damages in a medical negligence action. Browne was treated at Medical Center's emergency department on July 19, 2007. A physician ordered a test to determine if Browne had suffered another heart attack, which produced a negative result. The physician consulted a cardiologist in Medical Center's emergency department, who did not examine Browne. Browne was subsequently discharged. The next day, Browne's cardiologist examined her and concluded that she had experienced a heart attack on July 19. Medical Center moved for a directed verdict, but the jury returned a general verdict that Medical Center had been negligent in failing to diagnose the July 19 heart attack, failing to perform repeat tests, and failing to adequately communicate with the cardiologist. When reviewing the denial of a motion for directed verdict, the evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Since it was a general verdict based on multiple specifications of negligence, the verdict must be affirmed if there is any evidence to support the submission of any of the specifications of negligence to the jury. According to Browne's expert witness, the applicable standard of care for an emergency room physician required the physician to conduct a repeat test. Therefore, the Court of Appeals held that the jury could have found that the failure to conduct a second test caused Browne to suffer greater injury to her heart than would have occurred had the test been repeated. Affirmed.