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Sawyer v. Comerci

264 Va. 68, 563 S.E.2d 748 (2002)

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Sawyer v. Comerci

Virginia Supreme Court

264 Va. 68, 563 S.E.2d 748 (2002)

Facts

Norman Plogger went to the hospital complaining of abdominal pain. Dr. Cathy Comerci (defendant), the emergency-room physician, tried to admit Plogger to stay at the hospital, but Plogger refused and stated that his wife had an appointment in another town the next day. Plogger returned to the hospital three days later about a sore throat. Comerci told Plogger that he had to follow up with a doctor about his abdomen, but Plogger failed to do so. Plogger returned to the hospital one more time, was admitted, and died a few days later. Norma Sawyer (plaintiff), the administrator of Plogger’s estate, sued Comerci for medical negligence. The trial court refused to give an instruction regarding Plogger’s possible contributory negligence because Comerci failed to establish a prima facie case. Comerci appealed to the circuit court, which ruled in Comerci’s favor. Sawyer appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hassell, J.)

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