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Supreme Court to hear medical malpractice dispute

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday scheduled oral arguments in a medical-malpractice appeal filed by the estate of a woman who died while undergoing surgery for a tumor in her skull.

The court issued an order that set arguments for Aug. 29 in the case involving the 2009 death in Miami-Dade County of 45-year-old Maria Elena Espinosa.

The woman’s estate took the case to the Supreme Court after a divided 3rd District Court of Appeal last year upheld a circuit judge’s directed verdict for anesthesiologist Arturo Lorenzo, who evaluated Espinosa before the surgery.

The woman died on the operating table of what the appeals-court opinion said was exsanguination, which involves blood loss.

The case focused, in part, on whether Lorenzo properly considered an abnormal electrocardiogram in the evaluation. But the majority of the appeals court said Lorenzo had acted properly and that another anesthesiologist also conducted an evaluation before the surgery.

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