Posts tagged "1115314"

Washington v. Cranmer (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-153-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   12-P-1770                                       Appeals Court   CRYSTAL WASHINGTON  vs.  HILARIE CRANMER. No. 12-P-1770. Suffolk.     June 3, 2013. – December 1, 2014.   Present:  Rapoza, C.J., Cypher, Kantrowitz, Milkey, & Maldonado, JJ.[1] Medical Malpractice, Tribunal, Expert opinion.  Negligence, Doctor, Medical malpractice.  Practice, Civil, Offer of proof.  Evidence, Offer of proof.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 30, 2010.   A motion to dismiss was considered by Frances A. McIntyre, J.     Nicholas D. Cappiello for the plaintiff. Matthew S. Rydzewski for the defendant.      MILKEY, J.  On the morning of March 22, 2008, the plaintiff, Crystal Washington, went to the emergency department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).  There, she complained of various symptoms, and the defendant, Hilarie Cranmer, M.D., examined, treated, and discharged her.  After she returned home, Washington suffered a stroke overnight, which caused permanent neurological damage.  She filed this action in Superior Court alleging that Dr. Cranmer caused her injuries by not complying with the applicable standard of care.[2]  In accordance with G. L. c. 231, § 60B, the matter was referred to a medical malpractice tribunal.[3]  After a hearing, the tribunal concluded that Washington’s offer of proof, even if properly substantiated, was insufficient to raise a “legitimate question of liability appropriate for judicial inquiry.”  G. L. c. 231, § 60B, inserted by St. 1975, c. 362, § 5.  Washington did not post the $ 6,000 bond required by the statute, and her action therefore was dismissed.[4]  See ibid. (“[i]f [the] bond is not posted within thirty days of the tribunal’s finding the action shall be dismissed”).  Because we agree with Washington that her offer of proof was adequate, we reverse. Standard of review.  “Before a medical malpractice tribunal, a plaintiff’s offer of proof must (1) show that the defendant is a provider of health care as defined in G. L. c. 231, § 60B; (2) demonstrate that the health care provider [in question] did not conform to good medical practice; and (3) establish resulting damage.”  Saunders v. Ready, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 403, 403-404 (2007), citing Santos v. Kim, 429 Mass. 130, 132-134 (1999).  The relevant standard of care is the one that applies to “the average qualified physician in his or her area of specialty” (in this case, an emergency medicine physician).  Medina v. Hochberg, 465 Mass. 102, 106 (2013).  Whether the physician met the applicable standard of care generally can be answered only […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm

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