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Torts keyed to Best
Largey v. Rothman
Citation:110 N.J. 204, 540 A.2d 504 (1988)
After discovering a mass in her breast, Janice Largey chose to undergo an operation to remove the mass and two swollen lymph nodes from her body. Before the operation, Largey met with her surgeon, Dr. Donald Rothman, and consented to the procedure. Rothman did not inform Largey of the small risk of developing lymphedema, a swelling caused by poor drainage in the lymphatic system, as a side effect from the procedure. Weeks later, Largey developed lymphedema in her arms.
Largey sued, claiming that Rothman should have warned her of the risk of lymphedema as a side effect of the operation. At trial, the jury was instructed to hold Rothman to the professional standard of negligence, which would hold him to the standard of a reasonably prudent physician in the same circumstances. The jury found for Rothman and Largey appealed, claiming that the court should have applied the “prudent patient” standard that requires a doctor to inform the patient of any risks that a reasonably prudent patient may want to know about before undergoing a procedure.
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