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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

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Horvitz & Levy represented Kapi`olani Medical Specialists (KMS) in this medical malpractice action before the Hawai`i Supreme Court. The case arose from injuries suffered by 14-year-old Alyssa Ray and her parents allegedly caused by the treatment of Alyssa’s lupus with a particular steroid drug regimen prescribed by Dr. Kara Yamamoto, a KMS employee. The jury found that Dr. Yamamoto’s treatment was negligent but that negligence was not a legal cause of harm. The jury also found that Dr. Yamamoto failed to disclose required information to Alyssa’s parents and that this lack of informed consent caused Alyssa’s injuries. The trial court granted judgment as a matter of law on the negligence cause of action and entered judgment against KMS for $4,525,000 on both the negligence and informed consent theories.

The Hawai`i Supreme Court reversed the trial court judgment and remanded for a new trial. The court held that the trial court erred in granting judgment as a matter of law in favor of plaintiffs on the negligence claim. The court concluded there was substantial evidence to support the jury's no-causation verdict, and that the negligence and informed consent verdicts were irreconcilable. The court also held that that trial court erred in admitting certain expert testimony, but rejected our argument that plaintiffs’ informed consent cause of action failed as a matter of law. The court did not address other issues raised by the parties, including the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge to a Hawai`i statute placing a cap on pain and suffering damages.