On Tuesday a unanimous Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed a $390,000 Washington County bench trial verdict in Delta Regional Medical Center v. Taylor. Here is the Court’s opinion.

The plaintiff in the case alleged that the Delta Regional E.R. physician failed to diagnose a stroke. As a result of the failure to diagnose and treat, the plaintiff did not receive supportive care and had a worsening of symptoms.

Although the defendant denied liability, the case seemed to hinge on causation and whether plaintiff would have received any benefit from treatment had the proper diagnosis been made. The Court of Appeals found that there was sufficient expert medical testimony to support the trial court’s finding that the defendant’s breach in the standard of care harmed the plaintiff.

The Court found:

“In turning to examine whether the record contains substantial evidence supporting the circuit court’s judgment, opinion, and order, we find that James’s medical records, and the expert testimony of Dr. Wiggins and Dr. Dyro, along with other evidence in the record, provided such record support for the decision of the circuit judge. Moreover, the testimony of Dr. Wiggins and Dr. Dyro provided evidence establishing the applicable standard of care for supportive stroke care in this case for patients like James, displaying symptoms of a suspected CVA and having a differential, alternative diagnosis.”

Judge Virginia Carlton wrote the Court’s opinion. The opinion is 30 pages and provides a good overview of Daubert in medical malpractice actions.

Judge Betty Sanders was the trial judge.

Ed Williamson and Christopher Posey of Philadelphia represented the plaintiff.

Carl Hagwood and Mary Frances Stallings-England represented Delta Regional.