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Mohr v. Williams

Minnesota Supreme Court
104 N.W. 12 (Minn. 1905)



Williams (defendant) is a surgeon specializing in ear conditions. Mohr (plaintiff) came to Williams complaining of problems with her right ear. Williams examined her ear and found it to be partially diseased. He was unable to examine Mohr’s left ear at the time. Williams recommended that Mohr have an operation on her right ear. Mohr consented and was put under anesthesia. During the operation, Williams examined Mohr’s left ear and found it to be significantly worse than her right ear. He determined that her right ear was not as serious as he originally suspected, and that an operation on her left ear would be more beneficial. Williams did not obtain Mohr’s consent, but performed the operation on her left ear instead of her right. The operation was performed skillfully and successfully. After the operation, Mohr alleged that the operation greatly impaired her hearing, caused her serious injury, and was wrongful and unlawful. She brought suit against Williams for assault and battery. At trial, the jury awarded Mohr $14,322.50. The trial judge set aside the verdict as excessive and ordered a new trial. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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