Dr. Doan delivered the Vergara's child. The baby was
somehow injured. The Vergara's sued Dr. Doan for medical malpractice.
The Trial Court found for Doan. Vergara appealed.
The Appellate Court affirmed. Vergara appealed.
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed.
Indiana had a specific way to determine reasonable
standard of care for medical malpractice. In Indiana, the
standard of care was the standard of care taken by doctors in similar
localities (aka the locality rule).
In the past, the medical opportunities in poor rural
areas were nowhere near the standard available in rich urban areas. So
the doctors were only held to a standard of care similar to other
doctors in the area.
Under strict locality, the standard of care of
doctors in that specific locality was used as a guideline.
Under modified locality, the standard of care of
doctors in similar localities across the country was used as a
The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the locality rule
because it permitted a lower standard of care for people who lived in
Instead, they created a broader mechanism to determine
standard of care that includes many factors, including advances in the
profession, availability of facilities, type of doctor, and to some
Despite the modifications to the locality rule,
the Court felt that the change would not have resulted in a different
verdict by the jury, so the decision was affirmed.