We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Letters to the Editor |

Jury Findings of Malpractice Despite the Evidence

James E. Benecke Jr, MD
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003;129(12):1355. doi:10.1001/archotol.129.12.1355-a.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


I found the article "Medical Malpractice and Facial Nerve Paralysis"1 in the January issue of the ARCHIVES to be informative and disturbing. Having given expert testimony on behalf of physician defendants in several facial nerve cases, I know how difficult it is to win these cases. Juries seem prejudicially inclined to award money despite the availability of evidence against such a finding.

What is most disturbing to me when I review the data collected by Dr Lydiatt1 is the group of cases that did not meet the burden to prove negligence or malpractice. These 31 patients who sued their surgeons admitted that they understood that facial paralysis was a possible consequence. Nonetheless, the plaintiffs prevailed in 65% of these cases (20 patients). Does Dr Lydiatt have any information regarding the testimony of the plaintiffs' experts? It would appear from the article that most of the experts for the plaintiffs were otolaryngologists. How did they justify their opinions, despite the inability of the case to meet the test for malpractice? After all, there can only be 1 truth.


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview





Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.