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Mills v. Pate

Court of Appeals of Texas-El Paso
225 S.W.3d 277 (2006)


Facts

Mills (plaintiff) met with plastic surgeon Dr. Pate (defendant) seeking medical treatment to remove fat bulges on her abdomen, hip, and thighs. During her appointment, Pate told her that she would look beautiful after a liposuction operation that would remove the fat bulges and achieve the look she desired. Prior to the procedure, Mills signed an informed consent form stating the possible side effects and possible complications. The form itself did not make any specific promises regarding results. After the procedure, Mills followed Pate’s post-operation instructions. After the initial swelling and bruising subsided, Mills noticed irregularities in her skin months later, including sagging areas of skin. Pate and his staff informed Mills that the irregularities was swelling and not to be concerned. Mills continued to be upset with the results from the liposuction procedure and asked Pate to correct the irregularities. Prior to the second surgery, Pate told Mills she would have smooth skin with no ripples, bulges, or bags in her skin after the procedure. Mills signed another informed consent form that expressly disclosed the relevant risks. Afterwards, Mills was still very dissatisfied and met with another plastic surgeon who performed an extensive body lift procedure to correct the irregularities from the two operations. Mills brought suit against Pate under the Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act (MLIIA) alleging that he was negligent in failing to properly warn her of the relevant risks and failed to obtain her informed consent. Mills later amended her complaint alleging a breach of express warranty claim due to Pate’s verbal promises of certain results. Pate filed a “no-evidence” motion for summary judgment which the trial court granted. Mills appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Chew, J.)

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