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Case Law Update: Jury Instructions in Medical Malpractice Cases

In Matarese v. Buka, No. 1-06-2276 (10-31-08) the fifth division appellate court found that because the 2006 version of IPI 150.01, defining professional standard of care, could cause jury confusion by leading jury to believe that it can disregard expert testimony and substitute its own definition of reasonable care, the trial court properly gave instruction to the jury based on 2005 version of IPI in plaintiff’s trial for medical malpractice against ophthalmologist for alleged negligent cataract surgery. This case will have an impact on jury instructions in medical malpractice cases.