From our private database of 22,300+ case briefs...
Franklin v. Gupta
Maryland Court of Special Appeals
567 A.2d 524 (1990)
Sylvester Franklin (plaintiff) was scheduled to have Dr. Shanker Gupta (defendant) perform carpal tunnel surgery on his wrist. Before the surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Herbert Lee (defendant) evaluated Franklin’s several existing health issues and decided that a local anesthetic that blocked feeling in just Franklin’s arm was a safer choice than general anesthesia. Lee was double booked during Franklin’s surgery time, so Lee asked Gary Sergott (defendant), a certified, registered nurse-anesthesiologist, to handle Franklin. Although Lee said nothing about Franklin to Sergott, Sergott also decided, on his own, that blocking feeling in Franklin’s arm was the best choice. However, the block did not work completely. Gupta told Sergott to give Franklin general anesthesia instead. Concerned that general anesthesia was not safe for Franklin, Sergott left to find Lee and get his opinion. Lee agreed that another attempt at a local block was a safer choice. However, while Sergott was absent, Franklin had breathing and heart issues that required life-saving intervention. Franklin lived, but the surgery was canceled. Franklin filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit, arguing that the anesthesia issues had worsened his existing medical problems and permanently injured him. At trial, Franklin did not present any evidence showing that Gupta himself had done anything wrong or that Gupta had supervised or controlled either Lee or Sergott. Instead, Franklin asked the court for a jury instruction sometimes known as a captain-of-the-ship instruction. This instruction said that Gupta, as the surgeon, was responsible for everyone’s actions in the operating room and automatically liable if anyone had been negligent. The trial court did not give the instruction. The jury found that Lee, Sergott, and the hospital were liable for medical malpractice, but that Gupta was not. The trial court then ordered a new trial. Franklin appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilner, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 518,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 518,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 22,300 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.