I write concerning a case before the Supreme Court of Georgia involving the assumption of the risk and the applicability in a professional negligence claim.
The plaintiff was injured when he fell from a deer stand five days after coronary bypass surgery. The plaintiff sued his cardiologist alleging he negligently prescribed too much medication following the surgery and that caused the plaintiff to faint. The doctor argued at trial he was not negligent and that, in any event, the plaintiff assumed the risk of his injuries by going hunting and climbing onto an 18-foot-high deer stand just five days after the surgery, despite being told by the cardiologist not to engage in strenuous or risky activities for the next week.
The jury ultimately returned a verdict for the doctor.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the trial court erred in charging the jury on assumption of the risk.
The issue on appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia is whether the assumption of the risk is a viable defense in the professional negligence context.
The specific issue is whether the trial court properly charged the jury on assumption of the risk because a reasonable jury could have found that the plaintiff knew or should have known the risk inherent in going hunting and climbing onto a deer stand just five days after surgery, regardless of whether the plaintiff specifically knew he might become dizzy or faint.
Hopefully, the Supreme Court accepts cert.
By: Richard Tisinger, Jr.