Pederson v. Gould, No. 22505

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtHARWELL; NESS
Citation288 S.C. 141,341 S.E.2d 633
PartiesFlorence L. PEDERSON and Gerald T. Pederson, Appellants, v. Stanley L. GOULD, M.D., Respondent. . Heard
Decision Date25 February 1986
Docket NumberNo. 22505

Page 633

341 S.E.2d 633
288 S.C. 141
Florence L. PEDERSON and Gerald T. Pederson, Appellants,
v.
Stanley L. GOULD, M.D., Respondent.
No. 22505.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Heard Feb. 25, 1986.
Decided March 19, 1986.

Page 634

David D. Armstrong, Greenville, for appellants.

G. Dewey Oxner, Jr., of Haynsworth, Perry, Bryant, Marion & Johnstone, Greenville, for respondent.

HARWELL, Justice:

[288 S.C. 142] The lower court consolidated the appellant wife's medical malpractice action and the appellant husband's action for loss of consortium and medical expenses. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the respondent doctor in both cases. We affirm.

The respondent gynecologist performed a vaginal hysterectomy on the wife. She subsequently developed problems. A gastroenterologist diagnosed a blockage of the ureter and referred the wife to a urologist to correct the problem. Subsequently, a cystoscope was performed and a stitch was found in or around her left ureter. The wife later underwent a second cystoscope and a ureteral reimplantation. The doctor admitted the surgical injury but denied any negligence.

At trial, the respondent doctor called a gynecologist as an expert witness. The appellants did not offer any expert testimony from a gynecologist. The urologist who treated the wife after her vaginal hysterectomy testified on the appellants' behalf.

As a general rule, expert testimony is required in medical malpractice actions. Green v. Lilliewood, 272 S.C. 186, 249 S.E.2d 910 (1978). Expert testimony is not required, however, in situations where the common knowledge or experience of laymen is extensive enough for them to be able to recognize or infer negligence on the part of the doctor and also to determine the presence of the required causal link between the doctor's actions and the patient's medical problems. King v. Williams, 276 S.C. 478, 279 S.E.2d 618 (1981); Green v. Lilliewood, supra. The appellant contends that the lower court erred in failing to include this "common knowledge" exception in its jury charge. We disagree.

To prevail in a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff must present evidence sufficient to satisfy the two prong test set forth in Cox v. Lund, 286 S.C. 410, 334 S.E.2d 116 (1985). The plaintiff must "(1) Present evidence of the generally recognized practices and procedures which would be exercised by competent practitioners in a defendant doctor's field of medicine under the same or similar circumstances;...

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41 practice notes
  • Nelson v. QHG OF SOUTH CAROLINA INC., No. 3626.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 14, 2003
    ...establish the relevant standard of care and a breach of the standard of care by expert 354 S.C. 311 witness testimony. Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 341 S.E.2d 633 (1986); Botehlo v. Bycura, 282 S.C. 578, 320 S.E.2d 59 (Ct.App.1984). Gooding v. St. Francis Xavier Hosp., 326 S.C. 248, 487......
  • Fields v. REGIONAL MED. CENTER ORANGEBURG, No. 3623.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 14, 2003
    ...is of common knowledge or experience. Bramlette v. Charter-Med.-Columbia, 302 S.C. 68, 72, 393 S.E.2d 914, 916 (1990); Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 142, 341 S.E.2d 633, 634 (1986); Green v. Lilliewood, 272 S.C. 186, 192, 249 S.E.2d 910, 913 (1978); Bonaparte, 291 S.C. at 434, 354 S.E.2d......
  • Cianbro Corp. v. Jeffcoat and Martin, Civ. A. No. 3:91-376-19.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • October 8, 1992
    ...of common knowledge and experience, so that no special learning is needed to evaluate the conduct of the defendant." Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 341 S.E.2d 633, 634 (1986) (medical malpractice). This "common knowledge" exception applies in legal malpractice cases. Mali, 367 S.E.2d at 1......
  • Holmes v. Haynsworth, Sinkler & Boyd, P.A., No. 27395.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 5, 2014
    ...determine the presence of the required causal link between the professional's performance and the alleged malpractice. Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 142, 341 S.E.2d 633, 634 (1986). Here, Appellant overestimates the legal knowledge of a layperson to understand the complex issues of her c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
41 cases
  • Nelson v. QHG OF SOUTH CAROLINA INC., No. 3626.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 14, 2003
    ...establish the relevant standard of care and a breach of the standard of care by expert 354 S.C. 311 witness testimony. Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 341 S.E.2d 633 (1986); Botehlo v. Bycura, 282 S.C. 578, 320 S.E.2d 59 (Ct.App.1984). Gooding v. St. Francis Xavier Hosp., 326 S.C. 248, 487......
  • Fields v. REGIONAL MED. CENTER ORANGEBURG, No. 3623.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 14, 2003
    ...is of common knowledge or experience. Bramlette v. Charter-Med.-Columbia, 302 S.C. 68, 72, 393 S.E.2d 914, 916 (1990); Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 142, 341 S.E.2d 633, 634 (1986); Green v. Lilliewood, 272 S.C. 186, 192, 249 S.E.2d 910, 913 (1978); Bonaparte, 291 S.C. at 434, 354 S.E.2d......
  • Cianbro Corp. v. Jeffcoat and Martin, Civ. A. No. 3:91-376-19.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • October 8, 1992
    ...of common knowledge and experience, so that no special learning is needed to evaluate the conduct of the defendant." Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 341 S.E.2d 633, 634 (1986) (medical malpractice). This "common knowledge" exception applies in legal malpractice cases. Mali, 367 S.E.2d at 1......
  • Holmes v. Haynsworth, Sinkler & Boyd, P.A., No. 27395.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 5, 2014
    ...determine the presence of the required causal link between the professional's performance and the alleged malpractice. Pederson v. Gould, 288 S.C. 141, 142, 341 S.E.2d 633, 634 (1986). Here, Appellant overestimates the legal knowledge of a layperson to understand the complex issues of her c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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