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September 1, 1934


JAMA. 1934;103(9):707-708. doi:10.1001/jama.1934.02750350071037

Death Due to Hypersusceptibility to Nupercaine an Accident.—  The defendant insurance company issued a policy to the plaintiff's wife that provided for the payment of a certain benefit if she died from "accidental bodily injuries... effected solely and independently of all other causes through accidental means." In the course of a tonsillectomy, her physician painted the operative area with nupercaine and injected "the usual amount" of the same drug. While the operation was in progress, his patient collapsed, and died within a few minutes. The surviving husband, as the beneficiary under the policy, sued the insurer for the benefits it had promised to pay. The testimony was to the effect that the attempted removal of the patient's tonsils had nothing to do with her death; that death was due to the administration of nupercaine and the patient's hypersusceptibility to it, and that such hypersusceptibility could not have been known to

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