Mills Vs Pate

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Mills Vs Pate by Mind Map: Mills Vs Pate

1. Facts

1.1. Parties

1.1.1. Plaintiff - Ms. Joyceline Mills

1.1.2. Defendant- Dr. John Pate, MD

1.2. What Happened?

1.2.1. In September of 1999, Ms Mills consulted Dr Pate for the first time to get Liposuction. Dr Pate promised her a good outcome and said she would have beautiful skin without any bulges.

1.2.2. According to Ms. Mills, Dr Pate failed to explain the informed consent and the need for future procedures or the occurrence of skin irregularities. But Dr. Pate's notes, he had explained the details of the consent document, including the risks, benefits, and need for an abdominal and thigh tuck in the future. He had failed to mention skin indentations and abdominal irregularities.

1.2.3. In November of 1999, Both Ms. Mills and Dr Pate signed the informed consent went ahead with the liposuction procedure in December1999. This procedure included liposuction on her abdomen, hips, flanks and thighs. After the procedure Ms Pate suffered from side effects like bruising, discomfort swelling, skin changes and pigmentation that lasted for 6 months. These side effects were never mentioned to her by Dr. Pate and were not included in the informed consent either. According to Ms Mills, Dr Pate reassured her that these side effects were normal and would go away with time.

1.2.4. A second round of surgery was performed in January of 2001 to fix the abdominal sagging and bilateral hip flanks. At this time, Informed consent for the surgical procedure included that this was a procedure done because patient was dissatisfied with the original cosmetic outcome and a possible revision would be required in future to obtain better results. The risks included the recurrence of the original condition and poor wound healing. But even this procedure did not improve the outcomes and Ms. Mills continued to have sagging skin.

1.2.5. Ms Mills continued to remain dissatisfied with her outcomes and finally decided to consult Dr Gilliland. Dr Gilliland suggested that Dr. Pate's treatment was inadequate and she was not a good candidate for just Liposuction. Dr Gilliland recommended and extensive body lift surgery. Ms. Mills was satisfied with the outcomes of this procedure.

1.3. Procedural history

1.3.1. In January of 2002, Ms Mills sued Dr Pate under the Medical liability and Insurance Improvement Act. She sued him for his failure to warn her of the risks and outcomes of the procedure and the need for any future procedures. This was failure led to breach of expressed warranty.

2. Issue before the Court

2.1. Did Dr. Pate fail to properly warn Ms Mills of all the risks and side effects of the procedure. Did he or did he not take a valid informed consent for the procedures he performed on Ms Mills?

2.2. Did Dr. Pate make claims about the outcomes of the procedure that he did not fulfil / breached the expressed warranty ?

3. Rule of Law

3.1. Informed Consent

3.1.1. Patient must be given information about the risks, benefits, side effects and alternatives of the treatment or a procedure they receive/ undergo. To prove lack of Informed consent- Plaintiff has to prove that the physician did not explain all the risks, benefits and alternative treatment to the patient and if he/ she had done so after knowledge of the risks, the patient would have refused the treatment. If the treatment deviated form the usual standard of care the physician could defend lack of informed consent due to exculpatory cause.

3.2. Breach of expressed warranty

3.2.1. A warranty that the product will meet certain standard or quality. This is a very subjective clause as it depends on whether the doctor mentioned something as a warranty/ promise or just a opinion

4. Application of Law

4.1. Ms Mills Claimed that defendant Dr Pate did not mention the skin irregularities as a side effect of the procedure and thus she was not able to make a totally informed decision

4.1.1. During both the surgeries Dr Pate had provided her with informed consent that included all the foreseeable risks and benefits of the liposuction procedure. These two informed consent had mentioned all the foreseeable risks and in spite of these Ms Mills went ahead signed the informed consent and agreed to undergo the surgeries. Thus, there was no breach of duty here. Dr Pate had taken an informed consent and Ms Mills had agreed to sign it.

4.2. Ms Mills also claimed that Dr Pate breached duty to expressed warranty

4.2.1. According to her , Dr Pate mentioned thatShe was a perfect candidate for liposuction and she would have a beautiful skin after the procedure. But after surgery she got swelling, bulldogs and ripples in her skin. Thus he offered her false warranty about the possible outcome. These expressed warranty claims contributed to her acceptance of undergoing the procedure and she was dissatisfied due to the breach of these claims. And as a result, the court felt Dr Pate was responsible for the breach of expressed warranty claims.

5. Conclusion

5.1. Court agreed that Dr Pate had taken the appropriate informed consent and thus he was not responsible for lack of informed consent claims But Dr Pate was responsible for breach of expressed warranty as the promises he made were the basis for Ms Mills agreeing to get the liposuction surgery done.

5.2. "The Mills court held that although the patient's claims arose out of the patient-client relationship, they were not inseparable from her negligence claims and therefore did not require a determination as to whether Dr. Pate failed to meet the accepted standard of medical care because “there [was] some evidence that Dr. Pate's particular representations were actionable as an express warranty claim in that his representation did not conform to the character and quality of the services promised.”

6. Impact

6.1. Cases that cited this case

6.1.1. Key v. Viera Most negative treatment Ms Key Went to Dr. Viera for a Face lift and liposuction, but was dissatisfied by the result. Dr. Viera had promised her no scars on the face and beautiful smooth skin without bulldogs. Ms Key urges the court to consider Mills v Pate her causes of action were not health care liability claims

6.1.2. Gomez v Pasadena HealthCare Management citing Mills V Pate for The medical Liability act governing cases filed before September 1, 2003 Parents of a minor child brought a medical negligence suit against Corporate hospital owner, its physicians alleging that physicians neglect caused the child to suffer from febrile seizures.

6.1.3. Hunsucker v Fustok Negative treatment Patient Ransacker brought action against surgeon Dr Fustok for negligence and fraud claims. Mills v. Pate case was cited for breach of implied warranties and misrepresentations.

7. Influence

7.1. Business practices that are influenced by these proceedings

7.1.1. Doctors must include all the details regarding risks, benefits and the alternatives of any treatment/ procedure

7.1.2. Never to exaggerate the outcomes or carry of false advertising

7.1.3. Doctors should not indulge in unnecessary treatments or procedures. Or conduct procedures that need multiple other follow-up procedures without informing and educating the patients.