Mills vs. Pate

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Mills vs. Pate by Mind Map: Mills vs. Pate

1. Issue before the Court

1.1. If promises of surgical results made are separate from a physicians deviation of standard medical care, then can a physician be held liable for breach of express warranty?

2. Rule of Law

2.1. Physicians can be held liable for breach of warranty if the claims is different from the negligence claim and not similar to the claims of results inconsistent with standards of care.

3. Application

3.1. Physician objected to the addition of the breach of warranty claim based on a lack of evidence.

3.1.1. Trial court agreed and found that the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence. Plaintiff appealed the procedural process on the basis that the court erred in judgement in assessing an inadequate amount of evidence from the Plaintiff.

4. Facts

4.1. Parties

4.1.1. Joyceline Mills

4.1.2. Dr. John Pate

4.2. What Happened

4.2.1. Dr. Pate Surgical Timeline 46 year old Ms. Mills consulted with Dr. Pate for liposuction on September 29, 1999 November 17, 1999, Ms. Mills signed an informed consent to treat December 2nd, 1999 First liposuction procedure performed Post-Op Side Effects Normal, expected swelling in the first few weeks Within first 6 months, Ms. Mills complained about irregularities After 6 months, side effects still there and Ms. Mills expresses dissatisfaction, requested abdominal repair in particular Second Surgery January 9, 2001 Ms. Mills signed informed consent for second surgery Ms. Mills displeased with this procedure; complained of bagging and sagging Final Appt Dr. Mills stated that Ms. Mills should have had other procedures, however at initial consult he told her she did not need.

4.2.2. Dr. Gilliland Dr. Gilliland deemed Dr. Pate's care inadequate Performed abdominoplasty, body lift and redid thigh lift Ms. Mills satisfied with outcome. Subsequent surgeries result of previous failed surgeries

4.3. Procedural History

4.3.1. Ms. Mills files malpractice suit against Dr. Pate Failure to properly warn and failure to obtain informed consent Court found no evidence that Dr. Pate failed to obtain informed consent to the second surgery Breach of express warranty claim Trial court found that Ms. Mills did not have sufficient evidence

4.3.2. Ms. Mills appeals Appeals court upholds ruling against Dr. Pate Appeals court reverses district court ruling on Breach of Warranty and rules in favor of the plaintiff

5. Conclusion

5.1. Appeals court upheld the informed consent ruling, but overturned the breach of express warranty ruling.

6. Impact

6.1. According to, this case has been cited in 9 other cases. Most of these citations were for breach of contract or warranty and

7. Effects on Businesses

7.1. Because of this case, many health care companies would improve their documentation.  many cosmetic businesses would make false or overarching promises about results.

8. Business practices affected by the holding

8.1. 1) Clearer issuance of the risks by the provider with documentation

8.2. 2) Physicians not promising that a patient will be "beautiful" when complete.