Idaho Supreme Court Hears Propofol Malpractice Case

August 25, 2009

The Idaho Supreme Court is considering whether a judge was wrong to throw out a jury decision awarding $750,000 to a woman whose two-year-old son died after surgery to repair a dog bite wound.

Attorneys for Melinda Coombs and Drs. Adrian Curnow and Russell Griffiths argued their cases before the high court last Wednesday.

According to court documents, Michael Hall had part of his cheek severed when a dog bit him in 2002. Doctors gave the toddler the sedative Propofol during surgery and after, but five days later he was pronounced brain dead.

The boy’s mother, Melinda Coombs, sued the doctors for malpractice, and a jury awarded her damages. But the doctors said Coombs didn’t prove they were negligent and 4th District Judge Deborah Bail agreed, issuing a judgment in their favor despite the jury verdict.

The high court could rule on the case in the next several months.

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