Disclosure: Ohio Court Rules Physician’s Disclosure Not Protected by Apology Law
February 2, 2012 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
An Ohio appellate court held that a trial court rightly allowed a defendant doctor's disclosure of surgical error and admission of responsibility to be heard by a jury as an admission of fault and correctly refused to allow the jury to learn of his apology. The plaintiff alleged that the doctor negligently performed lumbar microdiscectomy by completely severing his wife's left common iliac artery, lacerating her iliac vein, and then failing to timely diagnose and treat the consequential medical conditions that arose afterward, which led to her death. The jury awarded the plaintiff $3 million.
During trial, the plaintiff testified that the doctor told him that the back surgery "went okay" but that the doctor nicked an artery and told the plaintiff and his daughter that it was "his fault" and that he "takes full responsibility." The plaintiff's daughter also indicated that the doctor said he was sorry, but this part of the conversation...