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Are you kidding me?

law-library.jpgYou know, we get some ridiculous e-mails in the QuizLaw mailbag now and again from folks looking for legal advice; despite disclaimers that we can’t dole out the legal advice, they ask anyway. And trust me, some of these e-mails are amazing. Yet, we’ve never published one, because even with name changes and what not, I don’t want to mock these people. …I’m a gentle soul like that.

But this one is different. This is the first time we’ve gotten an e-mail question which is so obviously a homework assignment. I mean, I didn’t even have to change the names thanks to the typical law exam names already in place (and all the typos come from the original):

I have a question…. what do you think would be the outcome and why for the following case:
Dr green treats a patient for a broken ancle but fails to notice a bone protruting from the upper leg. He treated the patient, but because of his failure to notice the protruding bone, the mans leg became infected and had to be amputated. Green then Informed Dr. Blade, the hospitals surgeon of what needed to be done. During the surgery, Blade got mixed up and amputated the wrong leg, and when he found out, he then amputated the correct leg. Ned, the patient is sueing both Dr Green and Dr. Blade.
Please explain the tort that has been committed and the aruguments that can be used for Ned (the plaintiff) and the likely liability which can be imposed on each of the parties.

I mean, come on.

But I’ll open the floor to our readers — pray tell, what is the answer to our illustrious e-mailer’s quandary?

| Comments (16)


I'll be brief, since my own law school exams are looming large. Medical Malpractice. By each doctor. Green for one leg, Blade for the other. Good luck with that.

Oh sweetie, with spelling and grammar like that, you have more than torts to worry about.

p.s. Anyone here want to just take my final exams for me? Who here is good at Econ? What about Remedies?

The old "hit by a negligent driver then treated by a negligent ambulance team then operated on by a negligent physician" fact pattern. How utterly uncreative.

Green is liable for both legs, unless you want to (unsuccessfully) make the (incorrect) argument that proximate cause does not extend to the good leg. Blade is (obviously) liable for the good leg only.

The liability for the good leg is joint and several. Add discussion of a possible contribution lawsuit if time permits.

Throw in some discussion on the history of medical malpractice (e.g., local versus national standards), tort reform, etc., for flavor.

Why not...Blade for tortious interference with contract and Green for sexual assault (an intentional tort). Plus they both appear to have committed slander but don't forget to talk about the statute of limitations.

Ned is entirely to blame. He should know Green is only interested in his nurse & golf, and that Blade is only interested in another threesome with Green. It's the gossip of the hospital for F-sake. He failed to get competent doctors assist them in doing their job. He's 99.9% to blame and any damages should be adjusted accordingly.

I would advise Green & Blade to sue/countersue Ned for defamation counter-negligence loss of earnings and Post litigation Stress Injury. I'd also throw in accusations of involvement in the Rwandan genocide - but, in truth, mainly as a settlement negotiation tactic.

Don't forget Battery against Blade. Even if he got good consent for surgery (including related necessary procedures), I can't imagine that reaching to the wrong leg.

Now you do my tax. It's even an easy one. How explain and justify why MBA is generally deductible, and JD isn't, and the circumstances under which LLMs might be under 1.162-5?

It's a MedMal case - but the A+ answer is that you don't take this case on a contingency fee agreement because the expert-witness costs are prohibitive and the the state's $500K MEDMAL cap (thanks tort reform!) has rendered this case unprofitable due to the time, expense, risk, and effort.

Undue Enrichment against the hospital - they have a leg up when they shouldn't, at Ned's expense. The likely outcome is that they will have to return the leg, plus give Ned an extra thumb as damages.

Hahahaha, I think Bradley wins this one.

I believe both doctors should sue the patient for failing to take adequate care of the ankle God gave him (as a matter of fact, God might want to get in on it too).

If we cut off his arms, it would be a Monty Python scene.

i love this website lol

Hmmm.. I would have to say Hannah Montana is responsible (and liable)... for everything

I have an bone to pick with yur arugument witch is protruting from yor soon to be amuputated leg.

Hello, are people seriously helping him/her with the answer!? Don't reward this behavior -- although I'm willing to accept Colombo's answer.

Lots of good answers unless you are in the military. Then you can't sue anybody, even though the Army doctor (Green) and the Navy doctor (Blade) cut off both of your legs! maybe the VA can get you a good wheelchair!