Jury Instructions.


Byline: Derek Hawkins

WI Supreme Court

Case Name: London Scott Barney, et al. v. Julie Mickelson, MD., et al.

Case No.: 2020 WI 40

Focus: Jury Instructions

This case centers on whether, based on the evidence introduced at trial, a circuit court properly instructed a jury on the "alternative methods" paragraph of Wis JICivil 1023 (2019) (the "alternative methods instruction"). London Barney was born with severe and permanent neurologic injuries. London and his mother, Raquel Barney, filed a medical malpractice action alleging that Dr. Julie Mickelson, M.D., was negligent for failing to accurately trace London's fetal heart rate during Mrs. Barney's labor. The Barneys alleged that without an accurate tracing of London's heart rate, Dr. Mickelson did not recognize signs that London's oxygenation status was depleting.

Over the Barneys' objection, the circuit court read the jury the alternative methods instruction. This instruction generally informed the jury that Dr. Mickelson was not negligent if she used reasonable care, skill, and judgment in administering any one of the recognized reasonable treatment methods for monitoring London's heart rate. The jury found Dr...

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