Perin V. Hayne
The case Perin v. Hayne was due to the operation executed by the respondent, Hayne, on the complainant Ilene Perin which involved a cervical synthesis. The surgery was carried out in the year 1968, November 26th. The plaintiff sought the treatment because of the hurt she felt on her back, her neck and also her right arm because she had two bulging cervical discs (Perin v. Hayne, 1979). During the surgery, however, the petitioner hurt a vocal cord paralysis that was determined to be a result of laryngeal nerve injury (Perin v. Hayne, 1979). The resulting effect from the damage was that the patient’s voice was impaired and she could no longer communicate. Her voice was reduced to a hoarse whisper, prompting her to seek compensation for negligence on four accounts. She based her claim on four concepts including breach of guarantee, res ipsa loquitur, specific negligence, and trespass or battery (Perin v. Hayne, 1979). Based on the facts of the case, it was determined that the evidence presented on the case could not warrant a jury consideration so; the trial law court indicated that the respondent’s motion for a direct verdict was sustained.
The plaintiff, under this theory, claimed that the defendant was negligent during the surgery and cut the laryngeal nerve causing her current communication problem (Perin v. Hayne, 1979). The facts of the surgery as presented in court showed that the defendant did the surgery successfully without any issues and strange occurrences during the procedure. Also, the defendant and other expert witnesses stated that it was impossible to expurgate or damage the laryngeal nerve because, throughout the process, the visceral fascia was not entered. In addition, it would not be possible to severe the nerve deprived of hurting the trachea or oesophagus as well. All doctor witnesses stated that the process used by the respondent was correct and that no signs of negligence were present to warrant the claim as accurate.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Further, this claim, the complainant demanded that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur could be applied on two accounts. One that the damage was caused under the operation of the defendant and second, that if due care was maintained, as known, then the damage could not have occurred during the said procedure (Perin v. Hayne, 1979). While the first claim was valid that the damage did occur under the care and operation carried out by the defendant, the defence contested the second foundation fact that it was commonly known that if due care and diligence were taken during the procedure, then the operation could not have resulted in the damage of the laryngeal nerve. Testimony from the defendant and other doctors proved that the damage was sporadic and undocumented, which means it is not a commonly known fact that care taken during the surgery would in any way prevent such damage.
Under this claim, the defendant claimed that the doctor assured her that after the surgery, she would be healed and would live a healthy life. After the surgery, she had her voice impaired and thus claimed that the doctor breached the warranty of her healthy living life after the procedure. The court recognized that it was necessary for the doctor to offer therapeutic assurance to the patient that the surgery would be successful. The court gave an example with the case of Guilmet v. Campbell 1971 and decided that the degree of warranting cure did not reach a biding level (Perin v. Hayne, 1979). The court also failed to agree that a jury would be able to rule on whether the doctor promised a complication free surgery or not. In addition, the plaintiff admitted that the assurances given by the doctor were based on previous results and expert opinion. The doctor gave her assurance that the probability of the surgery being successful was very high, as he had done several before with positive results. Even so, the surgery was considered successful if not for the resulting collateral damage. As a result, the court could not find the plaintiff guilty of failing to honour the warranty.
Battery or Trespass
The accuser claimed that there was sufficient indication to submit to the jury the case of cordless or infringe because the defendant did not carry out the surgery as agreed, and resulted in damage. She asserts that she agreed to the amputation of one jutted disc, and fusion of two. As an alternative, the doctor removed two discs during the procedure and fused four vertebrae against her consent, even though no negligence was done. She stated that since she never agreed to such an additional procedure, the case should be considered as a battery. According to the defendant, however, he counselled the patient on the nature of the surgery but failed to mention vocal cord injury since the possibility was negligible. Also, the battery, in this case, would be considered on where the doctor agreed to carry out one procedure and then do a different one on a substantial level such as in the case of Berkey v. Anderson 1969 (Berkey v. Anderson, 1969). In this case, the court denied the claim because, for the case of battery to hold, there should be a substantial difference between the two surgeries. The fact that the surgery was done was just as the one consented to make the claim that battery was done void. The court found no evidence that on all four accounts the defendant was careless and negligent, hence ruling in favour of the defendant.
Berkey v. Anderson (1969) :: :: California Court of Appeal … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/1/790.html
Perin v. Hayne :: 1973 :: Iowa Supreme Court Decisions … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://law.justia.com/cases/iowa/supreme-court/1973/55949-0.html