Helling vs. Carey and Laughlin

Helling vs. Carey and Laughlin - Econ 404 rmf34 Helling vs...

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Econ 404 02:11:13 rmf34 Helling vs. Carey and Laughlin Judge(s): Hunter, Associate Justice Court: Supreme Court of Washington, En Banc. (Location, Date): March 1974. Plaintiff : Morrison P. Helling and Barbara Helling (wife) Case Summary : This is a medical malpractice case. Plaintiff suffers from glaucoma, a condition where intraocular pressure rises and causes irreversible damage to the optic nerve. It is hard to detect absent a pressure test. Defendants are ophthalmologists. Plaintiff consulted the doctors in 1959 for nearsightedness. She had contact lenses. She was tested and had lost peripheral vision and greatly reduced normal vision 5x10 degrees
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Unformatted text preview: or so. The plaintiff was 32 at the time; tests for glaucoma are typically done only for people over the age of 40. Question if they didn’t know what was wrong if they should have done the test? 1 in 25,000 under 40 will have glaucoma. The test is cheap, it is easy and it is decisive. Defense : Thomas F. Carey and Robert C. Laughlin Verdict : The defendents are liable because it would have been easy and cheap to do, and the law should protect even those at low risk. The woman is now basically blind so damages will then be determined. Law and Economics Notes :...
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