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Pederson v. Dumouchel

431 P.2d 973 (1967)

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Pederson v. Dumouchel

Washington Supreme Court

431 P.2d 973 (1967)

Facts

Pederson (plaintiff), as guardian ad litem of a minor injured in an automobile accident, filed a medical-malpractice action against St. Joseph Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington, Dr. M. L. Dumouchel, and dentist Walter D. Heikel (defendants). The minor was originally treated by Dumouchel and Heikel at the Aberdeen hospital, where he was administered general anesthesia by a nurse without a doctor present and Heikel reduced the minor’s jaw fracture. After surgery, the minor suffered convulsions and a brain injury was suspected and he was transferred to a Seattle hospital. At trial, the jury was instructed to measure the applicable standard of care for the doctor and the dentist by that of similar doctors and dentists in the same locality or in similar localities. The jury returned a verdict for the hospital, the doctor, and the dentist. Pederson appealed and argued that the jury was improperly instructed about the applicable standard of care that limited the definition to the custom or practice of the local community.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Weaver, J.)

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