Carlos Garcia-Cantu, M.D. v. Amy Christine Gonzalez (No. 13-22-00504-CV; April 18, 2024) arose from a medical malpractice suit in which Gonzalez alleged that Dr. Garcia-Cantu lacerated her liver while performing surgery to biopsy a possible lipoma on her left breast. Four days after surgery and same-day dismissal from the hospital , Gonzalez suffered septic shock and was readmitted. Gonzalez timely served the expert report of physician as required by § 74.351, CPRC. Dr. Garcia-Cantu objected to the report and filed a motion to dismiss. Gonzalez served an amended report, to which Dr. Garcia-Cantu likewise objected. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. Dr. Garcia-Cantu appealed.

In an opinion by Justice Longoria, the court of appeals affirmed. Defendant asserted that the expert reports did not constitute “a ‘good faith’ effort to comply with” § 74.361 because they “fail[ed] to set out a non-conclusory causation opinion” connecting Plaintiff’s injury with the procedure he performed. Specifically, Defendant argued that the reports did not state how the alleged breach of the standard of care for the performance of the biopsy caused Plaintiff’s “sepsis, hospitalization, liver laceration, or her inability to take medications related to pre-existing conditions.” The report, however, stated that Defendant “failed to perform her biopsy procedure with the appropriate standard of care by failing to maintain ‘proper visualization of the ailment during the procedure’ and ‘operat[ing] deeper than what he [could] evaluate and see.” Consequently, the report opined, Defendant lacerated the liver and didn’t see it. The laceration then caused septic shock, requiring Plaintiff’s hospitalization. The court held that this was sufficient to give Defendant notice of both the breach of the standard of care and causation, rejecting Defendant’s argument that the report should have detailed how the liver laceration caused the septic shock to begin with. Noting that the statutory standard calls for a “good-faith effort,” not proof of the entire case or the exclusion of other possible causes of Plaintiff’s injuries, the court determined that the report adequately l

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