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Case No. 17-1213

Kassie Rene Vezeau-Crouch, Individually, as Daughter and Administrator of the Estate of Toni Annette Vezeau
v.
Roy Abraham, M.D. and Miller Orthopedic

Appellee

Kassie Rene Vezeau-Crouch, Individually, as Daughter and Administrator of the Estate of Toni Annette Vezeau

Appellant

Roy Abraham, M.D. and Miller Orthopedic

Attorney for the Appellee

Kristina M. Kaeding and J. Joseph Narmi

Attorney for the Appellant

Frederick T. Harris and Kellen B. Bubach

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
17-1213
Date Published:
Jan 09, 2019
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Jeffrey L. Larson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (16 pages)

            Dr. Roy Abraham and Miller Orthopedic appeal from the district court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment.  In this medical malpractice case, the defendants contend they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law because the plaintiff’s expert witness is not qualified under Iowa Code section 147.139 (2015) to offer the sole standard of care opinion he offered, and because the expert was “unable to opine that the alleged breach of the standard of care more likely than not caused the damages at issue.”  The defendants also contend they are entitled to judgment on wrongful death damages because there is no evidence the alleged negligence caused the wrongful death.  OPINION HOLDS: Viewing the record of the expert’s qualifications in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, we conclude, at this juncture, the expert is qualified to testify whether Dr. Abraham breached the standard of care and was negligent in failing to culture the post-surgery infection to identify the organism that caused the infection, and this failure resulted in ineffective treatment.  We agree with the district court that the plaintiff will still be subject to meeting its burden on the expert’s qualifications at the time of trial.  Furthermore, we conclude the expert’s deposition testimony is sufficient to generate a jury question on causation and whether the alleged negligence caused the wrongful death is a question of fact for the jury.  We affirm the district court’s denial of summary judgment.

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