Health Law Keyed to Furrow
Canterbury v. Spence
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Canterbury (Plaintiff) was a minor when he went to an orthopedist, Dr. Spence (Defendant), with complaints of pain in his upper back. Following a diagnostic procedure performed on Plaintiff, Defendant concluded that a laminectomy was needed due to Plaintiff having a ruptured intervertebral disc. After Plaintiff had undergone the procedure, it first seemed to have been successful. However, he fell out of bed while still hospitalized, resulting in paralysis and incontinence, conditions which continued thereafter. Plaintiff sued Defendant for malpractice. One argument was that he had not been advised of the risk of paralysis. At the end of his case, the district court granted Defendant's motion for directed verdict since Plaintiff had not produced any expert testimony to show that advising of such a risk had been required. Plaintiff appealed.
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