U.S. Court of Appeals Refuses to Admit Doctor’s General Reputation Found on Internet Websites in Birth Injury Lawsuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed a federal court’s exclusion of evidence regarding the defendant physician’s general reputation on internet websites.

In this case, Sheena Dorman, Dillon Ming and their minor child sued obstetrician Dr. Richard G. Welch and his medical practice, Annapolis OB-Gyn Associates P.A., alleging that the defendant physician’s negligence in applying lateral force during the child’s birth led to the development of Erb’s palsy.

The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed, challenging several of the trial court’s evidentiary rulings.

In affirming, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit found, among other things, that the trial court had correctly excluded evidence of Dr. Welch’s general reputation on various internet websites.

The court commented that evidence is relevant when it makes a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence and when the fact is consequential to determining the action Dr Welch’s general reputation did not relate to the question presented to the jury, specifically whether the doctor had exercised the proper standard of care in delivering the plaintiffs’ child.

Accordingly, the appeals panel held that the trial court’s exclusion of the doctor’s reputation evidence had been proper and thus affirmed the jury’s verdict.

Dorman v. Annapolis OB-Gyn Associates, P.A., Nos. 18-1826, 18-1872 (U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling labor and delivery negligence lawsuits, Erb’s palsy injury cases, birth trauma injury lawsuits, obstetrician negligence cases and brain injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Orland Park, Palos Heights, Dolton, Calumet City, South Holland, East Hazel Crest, Lynwood, Lansing, Riverdale, Chicago Ridge, Forest View, Brookfield, North Riverside, Melrose Park, Villa Park, Lombard, Wheaton, Glendale Heights, Franklin Park, Frankfort, Elmwood Park, Chicago (Austin, Humboldt Park, West Town, Near West Side, North Lawndale, East Garfield Park, Ukrainian Village, Logan Square, Bucktown, Roscoe Village, Uptown, Old Town, Albany Park, Edgewater, Andersonville, West Ridge, Sauganash, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Rogers Park), Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Des Plaines, Northfield, Glencoe, Riverwoods, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Long Grove, Highwood and Elk Grove Village, Ill.

Robert D. Kreisman has been an active member of the Illinois and Missouri bars since 1976.

Related blog posts:

$1.1 Million Settlement in Obstetric Negligence in Shoulder Dystocia Case

State Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

$375,000 Settlement for Mishandled Shoulder Dystocia