discussion 02 3 res ipsa loquitur

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Scenario (based on a real Missouri case): At a local Missouri hospital a patient had a total right knee replacement (arthoplasty) under general anesthesia. However, upon awakening from the anesthesia, he immediately experienced pain in his right hand, arm and shoulder which was not present before the surgery. This was not an expected complication from the procedure. The patient sued the hospital and the surgeon for medical malpractice.

  1. Discuss why the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur would apply in this case.
  2. How would shifting the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendants using res ipsa loquitur be helpful? Would the plaintiff be able to make a normal case for negligence without proving exactly what took place while he was unconscious during surgery?

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