Lauren Rhoades suffered facial burns while undergoing an oral surgical procedure for temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ). She brought a medical malpractice case against William Robinson McCormack, DMD, the surgeon who performed the surgery and Macon Oral and Maxillo facial Surgery, P.C…law.com, Rhoades v. McCormack et al. 2020
Dr. McCormack testified that he did not know how it happened, but that in his opinion, the only thing that made sense was that the handpiece used in the surgery malfunctioned and transmitted the heat from the refractors in it to the face of the patient.
The defendants then moved for a directed verdict saying that the case of the plaintiff was based on a res ipsa theory and that she had failed to present expert testimony that Dr. McCormack breached the standard of care by means of a specific actor omission as required by Georgia law.
The trial court directed a verdict in favor of defendants, which was subsequently affirmed by the Supreme court saying that the Defendants’ appeal was mute.