On Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed a verdict entered in favor of the defendant doctor in a medical malpractice and wrongful death case tried in St. Louis County. At trial, the plaintiff, Elizabeth Mitchell, claimed her Husband’s doctor, Dr. Milton Kardesch, committed medical malpractice and caused the wrongful death of her Husband in failing to instruct her to send her Husband to the emergency room during a phone call she made on behalf of her Husband after he awoke from a nightmare clutching his chest. Dr. Kardesch claimed he did instruct Mrs. Mitchell to send her Husband to the emergency room. Mrs. Mitchell’s Husband subsequently died from complications arising from myocardial infarction and arteriosclerosis.
The issue on appeal was whether the trial court erred in prohibiting Mitchell’s attorney from questioning Dr. Kardesch about a false answer he gave during his deposition. In that regard, Dr. Kardesch testified in deposition that he had never been suspended from practicing medicine, despite the fact his medical license had been suspended in both Missouri and New York. The Supreme Court found error, holding that because Dr. Kardesch’s credibility was such an important issue in the case, MItchell’s attorney should have been allowed to ask Dr. Kardesch about his inaccurate deposition answer at trial.