Krista Frick Secures Appellate Win for Healthcare Client in Medical Negligence Case

December 2020

In a recent medical negligence appeal, BCKS Partner Krista Frick achieved a win for a dermatologist client by disproving the plaintiff’s claims that the trial court erred by giving the IPI 12.05 “sole proximate cause” instruction and that the jury’s verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Krista tried this case with her partner, Anne Kuban. On appeal, Krista successfully defended the jury’s verdict in her client’s favor and the trial court’s rulings both during trial and in relation to the plaintiff’s post-trial motion.

The case involved a dermatologist who performed a strip method hair transplant procedure on the plaintiff utilizing an excised donor strip from the back of his head. As a result of the procedure, the plaintiff contended that he had suffered excessive scarring in the donor area of his scalp. This was the plaintiff’s third procedure of this kind. The defendant maintained that prior to the procedure he evaluated the plaintiff’s scalp elasticity, determined it was poor secondary to the two prior transplant procedures, and informed him of an increased risk of scarring from the procedure. At trial, the jury heard evidence that the plaintiff failed to comply with specific preoperative instructions, and had the defendant known this fact, he would not have performed the procedure. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant dermatologist.

On appeal, the plaintiff claimed that the trial court erred by providing the jury with a “sole proximate cause” instruction when the evidence did not support the instruction. He also claimed that the jury’s verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. The plaintiff failed to provide the court with the complete report of proceedings, failed to comply with Illinois Supreme Court Rules 321 and 323, and also failed to support his arguments with case law and citations to the reports of proceedings. The plaintiff’s argument on appeal omitted all evidence other than isolated testimony of the defendant physician. The appellate court found that the plaintiff had both waived arguments relative to the standard of care, and failed to support his claims of proximate cause. Ultimately, the appellate court found that the jury’s verdict was supported by the evidence, and that the trial court’s rulings as to jury instructions and evidentiary issues were proper.

Learn more about the decision here.

Krista’s practice focuses on the defense of hospitals, physician groups, long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, community integrated living arrangements (CILA) and individual healthcare providers. In addition to litigation, Krista’s practice includes insurance coverage and appeals. Krista’s appellate and insurance coverage experience enables her to provide clients with unique, thorough and comprehensive opinions as to the many trial issues, theories, defenses and arguments inherent in the litigation and trial process.