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December 14, 1935

Medicolegal

JAMA. 1935;105(24):2013-2014. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760500065039

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Abstract

Malpractice: Facial Paralysis and Deafness Following Mastoidectomy.—  One of the physician-defendants performed a "radical" mastoidectomy on plaintiff. Facial paralysis and deafness in the ear involved resulted. The plaintiff, contending that he had consented only to a "simple" mastoidectomy, sued the defendants for performing an unauthorized operation and for negligence in connection with the operation. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff for $30,000 and, after first rendering judgment on the verdict, the circuit court reversed itself and ordered a new trial. The plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin.If, said the Supreme Court, the radical operation was performed without the consent of the patient, either express or implied, then the operator was guilty of an assault and would be responsible for damages resulting therefrom. The court, however, agreed with the circuit court that the case was ineptly submitted to the jury with the result that there was

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