Perna v. Pirozzi

92 N.J. 446 (1983)

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Perna v. Pirozzi

New Jersey Supreme Court
92 N.J. 446 (1983)

Facts

Thomas Perna (plaintiff) was seen by Dr. Michael Pirozzi (defendant) for kidney stones and agreed to undergo surgery to remove the kidney stones. The usual practice of Pirozzi’s medical group, which included two other doctors—Dr. Anthony Del Gaizo and Dr. Patrick Ciccone (defendants)—was to share patients and decide prior to an operation who would perform the procedure. Ciccone met with Perna before the surgery and explained that two members of their group would be present for the surgery. Additionally, prior to surgery, Perna signed a consent form that named Pirozzi as the operating surgeon. The surgery was performed by Del Gaizo with Ciccone’s assistance. Pirozzi was not present. Perna had complications following surgery and learned that Pirozzi did not perform the surgery. Perna and his wife (plaintiff) sued the three doctors for medical malpractice. The Pernas claimed that Pirozzi breached his duty of care by substituting another doctor to perform the surgery and that Perna did not give informed consent to have Del Gaizo perform the surgery, among other claims. The trial court entered judgment for Pirozzi, Del Gaizo, and Ciccone. The Pernas appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pollock, J.)

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