P consulted D about appendicitis and made arrangements for surgery.
After P woke up from surgery, he experienced pain in his shoulder that was not there before. It got worse until part of his shoulder was paralyzed and atrophied.
P sued everyone involved in the surgery.
Trial court directed a verdict for D.
CA Supreme Court reversed, remanded.
Must a P bringing suit in res ipsa loquitur prove which of the set of Ds was directly responsible for his injury?
A P bringing a suit in res ipsa loquitur is not required to prove which of the set of Ds was directly responsible for the injury.
Res ipsa is particularly applicable in a case involving a patient who is knocked out during surgery.
If a knocked out patient is required to prove which doctor was responsible for the injury, no claim would ever be brought.
The number or relationship of the Ds alone does not determine whether the doctrine applies.
When a P receives unusual injuries while unconscious and in the course of medical treatment, all those Ds who had any control over his body or the instrumentalities which might have caused the injuries may properly be called upon to meet the inference of negligence by giving an explanation of their conduct.