Walters v. Hitchcock
Kansas Supreme Court
697 P.2d 847 (1985)
In 1979, a lump was discovered on the neck of Lillian Walters (plaintiff) by her family physician. At the time, Walters was 32-years-old, not employed, and married with four minor children. Thereafter, Walters was seen by surgeon, Dr. C. Thomas Hitchcock (defendant), who recommended a surgical removal of the diseased areas of Walters’ thyroid gland. Hitchcock informed Walters that the procedure was low risk with an anticipated three-day hospital stay afterwards. Following the procedure, Walters’ condition rapidly deteriorated: her head swelled, she lost her vision, and she suffered extreme respiratory distress. Walters was taken to the intensive care unit where a breathing tube was inserted. Hitchcock was notified by the hospital’s pathology department that a piece of Walters’ esophagus was connected to the thyroid specimen he had sent to the lab during her surgery. Subsequently, Hitchcock reopened Walters’ wound and observed a significant hole in her esophagus that was not repairable. Hitchcock permanently closed Walters’ esophagus. Walters brought a medical malpractice action against Hitchcock and sought $4 million in damages. A jury awarded Walters $2 million in damages, and Hitchcock appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McFarland, J.)
Dissent (Schroeder, C.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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.