Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Walters v. Hitchcock case brief

Walters v. Hitchcock case brief summary
697 P.2d 847 (1985)

Appellant doctor sought review of the decision of the Wyandotte District Court (Kansas), which found in favor of appellee tort victim in her medical malpractice action against the doctor.

The tort victim had a lump on her neck that was discovered by her family physician. The victim underwent a low risk operation. Her esophagus was badly damaged as a result. Subsequently, the victim's condition worsened. The victim brought a medical malpractice action against the doctor. The jury returned a verdict for the victim.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • The victim's attorney allegedly made improper remarks in his closing argument. 
  • The court found that the comment "who would sell" was a fair argument and did not constitute a "golden rule" argument. 
  • The counsel's further statement that he would not sell his esophagus for a sum of money was an improper argument because it was testimonial in nature. 
  • However, the court found that it was not enough to constitute a reversible error. An objection to the statement was sustained at the time and no admonition was given because the doctor did not request one. 
  • The court concluded that the doctor failed to show that he was prejudice by the exclusion of certain testimony relative to causation because the excluded testimony was cumulative and did not materially to the weight or clarity of the evidence.

The court affirmed.

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