Torts Keyed to Dobbs
Smith v. Knowles
This action was as a result of the deaths of Diane Smith (Smith) and her unborn child. Both died as a result of eclampsia, the full development of eclamptic toxemia, a serious complication of pregnancy when convulsions result from increased blood pressure, albumin in the urine, and the retention of fluid in the patient’s tissues. Appellant testified that his wife had suffered a number of symptoms and had notified Dr. Knowles. Appellant contended that Appellee was negligent in failing to make a timely diagnosis of Smith’s pre-eclampsia, and in treating that condition once it was diagnosed. The parties presented contradicting evidence as to whether Smith had showed symptoms of pre-eclampsia prior to her admission to the hospital in February, 1974. Appellant failed to call independent medial witnesses. He relied on the introduction of excerpts from medical treatises, and the cross-examination of Appellee. The trial court concluded that such evidence was insufficient to meet the b urden of proof. The Supreme Court of Minnesota affirmed.
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