The Robbinses (plaintiffs) sued Dr. Jordan (defendant) for medical malpractice related to the birth of their child. In the pleadings, the Robbinses alleged that Dr. Jordan held himself out as “a practicing physician…well qualified in the treatment of disorders and diseases of women.” At trial, the court determined that this allegation was not sufficient to allow the Robbinses to raise the claim that Jordan had held himself out as an obstetrician and thus owed a heightened duty of care. The Robbinses requested leave to amend the complaint, but the trial court refused on the ground that the change in the Robbinses’ theory would prejudice the defense. After the Robbinses presented their case, the trial judge entered a directed verdict for Jordan. The Robbinses appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.