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Torts keyed to Best
Etheridge v. Medical Center Hospitals
Citation:376 S.E.2d 525 (Va. 1989)
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- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Richie Lee Wilson was a healthy 35 year old woman and mother to three children. On May 6, 1980, she had surgery at Medical Center Hospitals to fix a deteriorating jawbone. The surgery consisted of the removal of five-inch long portions of two ribs by Clarence Trower, a general surgeon, and the grafting of those rib portions to her jaw by a different oral surgeon. The surgery left her severely and permanently diabled. She suffered brain damage, was paralyzed on her left side, and confined to a wheelchair. Her life expectancy reduced to 39.9 years and she was no longer able to care for her children.
The surgery and aftercare cost at least $300,000. Prior to the surgery, Ms. Wilson was a registered nurse and made almost $10,000 in 1979. Ms. Wilson stated she had proved an economic loss of $1.9 million as a result of the medical malpractice. At trial, she was awarded $2,750,000 by a jury, which was reduced to the statutory limit of $750,000. On appeal , she argues the reduction violated her right to jury trial under the Virginia Constitution, and her due process rights under the Virginia and Federal Constitutions.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.