Carr v. Strode

904 P.2d 489, 128 Idaho 356, 79 Haw. 475 (1995)

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Carr v. Strode

Hawaii Supreme Court
904 P.2d 489, 128 Idaho 356, 79 Haw. 475 (1995)

Facts

Robin Carr and his wife, Donna Sorrell (plaintiffs), decided not to have any more children after the birth of their second child. Sorrell intended to undergo a tubal-ligation procedure, but Carr offered to have a vasectomy because Sorrell had just spent nine months pregnant and because of trouble scheduling the tubal-ligation procedure. Carr twice consulted Dr. Walter Strode (defendant) of Straub Clinic and Hospital, Inc. (the clinic) (defendant) regarding the procedure. Strode performed the vasectomy, and a subsequent analysis showed that Carr was sterile. However, three months later, Sorrell was pregnant again, and an analysis showed that Carr was no longer sterile. Sorrell scheduled a tubal-ligation procedure to occur right after the third child was born. However, the child was born during the time of the Thanksgiving holiday, and no doctor could be scheduled to perform the surgery. Carr volunteered to undergo another vasectomy performed by a different physician, Dr. Robert Simich. Carr and Sorrell filed a complaint against Strode and the clinic, alleging various causes of action, including lack of informed consent. Carr and Sorrell alleged that Strode did not inform them of either the risk that a vasectomy might fail or the rate of such failures. Strode asserted that Carr did not offer proof that, behaving reasonably, Carr would not have had the vasectomy had he been informed of the risk of failure. Strode alleged that the fact that Carr had another vasectomy even though Simich notified him of the risks showed that he would have had the first vasectomy anyway. Carr countered that Simich did not disclose the risks either, and he would not have had the subsequent vasectomy had he been informed. A jury found in favor of Carr and Sorrell regarding informed consent; however, the trial court entered a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on behalf of Strode and the clinic, stating that Carr and Sorrell had not presented evidence demonstrating that Strode was liable and that he was the legal cause of Carr’s injury.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Moon, C.J.)

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