In the case of Debra R. Sorrells v. Karen Reid Renner, Sorrells filed a medical malpractice complaint against Dr. Renner alleging that Renner failed to tell her the results of her blood test which indicated her early-stage leukemia. Sorrells claimed that this had resulted in a delay in her leukemia diagnosis which in turn caused her injury and damages. Sorrells also claimed that Dr. Renner’s failure to communicate to her or another doctor caused her to undergo unnecessary treatment by other physicians who would have acted differently had they had the results earlier.

Sorrells submitted her claim to a medical-review panel stating that Dr. Renner had breached the standard of care she was required to meet in her role as a doctor. Dr. Renner moved for summary judgment at trial based upon the panel’s opinion that she was not a causative factor in Sorrell’s injuries. Sorrell responded by designating parts of her treating physician testimony, Dr. Mark Dayton, as contradictory expert opinion. Dr. Dayton said that if he had known about the blood test results, that he probably would have treated her with Rituxan alone and not have included chemotherapy. On cross-examination, Dr. Dayton said that any alleged delay in getting the right diagnosis did not affect her prognosis or life expectancy.

The trail court granted Dr. Renner’s motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that under Indiana law, the evidentiary standard required to establish the fact of causation is by a preponderance of evidence. The Court found that Dr. Dayton’s testimony satisfied the preponderance of evidence standard and created a genuine issue of material fact. They reverse the trial court’s decision.

If you or a loved one have been affected by a medical malpractice injury, accident, or death, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Hurst Limontes, LLC. We have decades of combined experience fighting for our clients in any number of personal injury claims. Call 317-636-0808 or email us for a FREE and confidential consultation.