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August 22, 1896


JAMA. 1896;XXVII(8):441-442. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430860045007

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That is the way Richards v. Willard, which was decided July 15, 1896, struck the supreme court of Pennsylvania, and it did not hesitate to say so. The plaintiff claimed damages against the defendant for negligent surgical treatment for an injury to his leg. He alleged that he had sustained a fracture of both bones of his leg at a short distance above the ankle joint, and was treated, not for a fracture but for a sprain, and was thereby greatly injured. If there were no fracture the plaintiff had no case, for he did not contend that the treatment he received was improper treatment for a sprain. The defendant denied most positively that there was a fracture.

The singularity of the case arose upon the character of the testimony, and the conflict developed as to the great leading fact. Two surgical witnesses testifying from actual examination, declared that there

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