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Special Interrogatory Controls General Verdict

02 Feb 2002

Where the answer to a special interrogatory is incompatible with a jury's general verdict, the special interrogatory controls. Although a jury found by verdict that a doctor was guilty of medical malpractice, they answered "no" to a special interrogatory asking, "Did dehydration contribute to cause of death of [plaintiff]?" According to the opinion, plaintiff based her entire case on the theory that the doctor's negligence was the cause of death, by allowing plaintiff to become severely dehydrated. Since the special interrogatory controls, there was no liability. Simmons v. Garces, No. 91093, 2002 WL 93130 (Jan. 25, 2002).


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