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Weymers v. Khera

563 N.W.2d 647 (1997)

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Weymers v. Khera

Michigan Supreme Court

563 N.W.2d 647 (1997)

Facts

Kimberly Weymers (plaintiff), 20 years old, got sick in October 1990 with a cough, fever, nausea, aching, and chest congestion. Weymers went to Walled Lake Medical Center (WLMC) (defendant) three times over the course of a few weeks, and she was given antibiotics for a respiratory infection and then for pneumonia the first two times. The third time she went to WLMC, Weymers saw Dr. Frank Fenton (defendant), who had her admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital (St. Joseph’s) (defendant). At St. Joseph’s, Weymers saw Dr. Rheka Khera (defendant), who suspected a kidney problem. At Dr. Khera’s request, Dr. Gregorio Ferrer (defendant), a nephrologist, saw Weymers. Dr. Ferrer began medication and scheduled a kidney biopsy. Although the medication did help at first, Weymers rapidly deteriorated, and she was transferred to William Beaumont Hospital, where she saw Dr. Isam Salah. By this time, Weymers’s kidney function was very low, and Dr. Salah’s attempt to save Weymers’s kidneys failed. Weymers eventually had a kidney transplant. Weymers filed a medical-malpractice action against WLMC, Dr. Fenton, St. Joseph’s, and the two physicians who treated her at St. Joseph’s (the defendant providers). Weymers submitted the affidavit of Dr. Eric Neilson stating that if the defendant providers had given Weymers proper medical care, she would have had a 30 to 40 percent chance of retaining her kidney function, and Weymers’s life expectancy had been significantly shortened as a result of the loss of her kidneys. The defendant providers moved for summary judgment, arguing that Weymers had failed to show that it was more probable than not that their negligence caused Weymers’s injuries. The trial court agreed and granted summary judgment. Weymers appealed. The appellate court reversed, holding that the lost-opportunity doctrine permitted Weymers’s action. The defendant providers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Riley, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Kelly, J.)

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