Walski v. Tiesenga
Supreme Court of Illinois
381 N.E.2d 279 (1978)
Walski (plaintiff) underwent a thyroidectomy performed by Dr. Tiesenga (defendant). One risk of a thyroidectomy is loss of voice, caused by damage to the laryngeal nerves. To combat this, some doctors locate these nerves before the operation. Tiesenga declined to follow this route, as Walski’s earlier operations made locating the nerves dangerous. Instead, Tiesenga predicted where the nerves would be, and made a cut hoping to avoid the nerves. This cut damaged the nerves and caused Walski injury. Walski brought a medical malpractice claim against Tiesenga, and offered expert testimony to establish a standard of care for the thyroidectomy. Walski’s expert testified that, although every surgeon has different methods, his preferred custom in a thyroidectomy would be to first locate the laryngeal nerves before cutting. Tiesenga testified that identifying the nerves is a customary practice; however, this procedure would have been unwise in Walski’s case. The trial court granted a directed verdict in favor of Tiesenga, which the appellate court affirmed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kluczynski, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 725,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 725,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.