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Freshwater v. Scheidt

Supreme Court of Ohio
714 N.E.2d 891 (1999)


Facts

Dr. Robert Scheidt (defendant) performed laparoscopic surgery to remove Kathleen Freshwater's (plaintiff's) gallbladder. Freshwater later needed medical treatment for a perforated bowel, which she attributed to Scheidt's malpractice during the gallbladder surgery. Freshwater sued Scheidt. At trial, Dr. Karl Zucker appeared as an expert witness on Scheidt's behalf. Freshwater attempted to cross examine Zucker on an article Zucker had invited Dr. Fitzgibbons to write for a laparoscopy textbook Zucker edited. Zucker called Fitzgibbons' article helpful and useful, but because Zucker said he could not define what constitutes an authoritative statement on laparoscopy, he refused to call the article authoritative. Zucker said he used Fitzgibbons' article in forming his opinion of Scheidt's work, but he disagreed with some of Fitzgibbons' statements in the article. The judge denied Freshwater permission to use the laparoscopy textbook in cross examining Zucker. The trial ended in judgment for Scheidt. On appeal, an appellate court rejected Freshwater's argument that the judge erred in restricting her cross examination of Zucker. Freshwater appealed to the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Douglas, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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