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Andreini v. Hultgren
Utah Supreme Court
860 P.2d 916 (1993)
Eugene Andreini (plaintiff) had knee surgery at Holy Cross Hospital (defendant). After the surgery, Andreini experienced “pins and needles” and atrophy of his hands. The doctors did not give him a cause prior to his discharge. Andreini then saw another doctor, who diagnosed Andreini with compression paralysis of his hands. Dr. David Beck (plaintiff), who had performed Andreini’s knee surgery, stated that Andreini would need surgery to fix his hands but that the surgery would completely restore the hands. About a week before the second surgery, an independent nurse hypothesized that Andreini’s condition could have been caused by improper strapping of his hands during the knee surgery. About a half hour prior to the hand surgery, after Andreini was in a gown and prepped, an employee asked him to sign a form that would release Holy Cross from all further liability. Beck told Andreini that he would not operate on the hands unless Andreini signed the form. Andreini’s hands had been getting progressively worse. Given his options, Andreini, visibly upset, signed the form. The operation did not succeed, and Andreini lost most of his hands’ dexterity. Andreini sued Beck and the hospital. Andreini argued that he had signed the release form under duress. The trial court granted the defendants summary judgment, finding as a matter of law that Andreini had not signed the form under duress. Andreini appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Zimmerman, J.)
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