Shelksohn v. Yeh
Nevada Supreme Court
281 P.3d 1218 (2009)
Johnna Shelksohn had an immediate seizure when Dr. Yun Szo Yeh (defendant) gave her an epidural during labor. Doctors delivered the baby successfully by caesarean section, but Johnna became comatose and died seven days later. Her husband, Christopher Shelksohn (plaintiff), sued Dr. Yeh for wrongful death, claiming that he failed to administer a test dose and wait for an adverse reaction before giving Johnna the full dosage. Dr. Yeh testified that he gave a test dose, waited, and then gave the full dose. However, the nurse present, Renee Clark, testified that Johnna went into convulsions within ten seconds of Dr. Yeh inserting the epidural needle into her spine, and that normally a doctor waits at least one to two minutes after giving a test dose to give the full dose. But Clark could not see how much Yeh administered or whether he paused at all because she was in front of Johnna. Another nurse, Nannette Spector, claimed that Clark told her in the elevator shortly afterward “that Dr. Yeh had administered a big bolus of drug into Johnna Pullen and she seized immediately.” Clark did not recall that conversation, so Shelksohn tried to use Spector’s testimony as impeachment evidence. But the trial court excluded it, reasoning Shelksohn never asked Clark about the substance of the elevator conversation, so it was not inconsistent with her testimony. After a two-week trial, the jury found for Yeh. Shelksohn appealed, arguing the trial court should have admitted the elevator remark as impeachment evidence.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning ()
Dissent (Pickering, J.)
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