Earlier this month, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a written opinion in a medical malpractice case that was brought against several doctors who performed a surgery on the plaintiff that resulted in the plaintiff permanently losing the use of his right arm. The issue that the court had to decide was whether the expert testimony presented by the plaintiff was sufficient to establish the causation element of a Georgia medical malpractice lawsuit. Ultimately, the court determined that the experts’ testimony did not establish the necessary causation because it failed to provide more than a “medical possibility” that the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
The plaintiff had a surgery performed by the defendant doctors. Prior to the surgery, the doctors positioned the plaintiff in a manner they believed necessary, with both his hands placed behind his back. During the surgery, which lasted approximately 9.5 hours, the plaintiff was not repositioned. The surgery was successful, and the plaintiff was taken to a recovery room. However, upon waking up from the anesthesia, the plaintiff began to complain about pain in his shoulders and arms.
The plaintiff was later diagnosed with compartment syndrome in his right arm, and a subsequent surgery was necessary to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately, the plaintiff never fully regained the use of his arm. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctors who performed the surgery, claiming that the initial placement of his body during the surgery and the doctor’s failure to reposition him during the surgery caused his injuries.