Makai Zuniga

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Case Summary

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Case Synopsis

Firstly, the Court in this case considered whether defendants to a medical malpractice action may present evidence concerning the plaintiff's informed consent or assumption of the risk when the plaintiff does not raise a claim based on lack of informed consent. Furthermore, it held that assumption-of-the-risk evidence can be relevant in instances where a plaintiff’s consent to the procedure is challenged, but neither the defense nor evidence of informed consent is admissible in a medical malpractice action, where the plaintiff’s consent is uncontested. Secondly, the Court considered whether a plaintiff must use expert testimony to show that the medical damages they seek are reasonable and customary, finding that expert testimony is not required when other evidence shows reasonableness. Thus, informed consent evidence is inadmissible and an assumption-of-the-risk defense is improper in professional negligence suits when the plaintiff does not challenge consent.