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Lawyer questions data cited by oral surgeon

Karen Dorn Steele (Staff Writer)

August 19, 2008

Malpractice trial now in its sixth week

A lawyer in the malpractice trial of Spokane oral surgeon Dr. Patrick Collins challenged Collins' claim that he has an 86 percent success rate for a series of open jaw surgeries he performed through 1999.

In testimony last week in the Spokane County Superior Court jury trial, Collins said his office used data from his group practice in a published study that concluded 86 percent of 117 responding patients who'd agreed to have jaw surgery reported good results.

In cross-examination Monday, plaintiff's attorney Mary Schultz said it would be impossible to get that high a success rate with only 117 responses from 202 patients contacted.

Some 31 patients of the 117 who responded reported bad outcomes, amounting to a 26.5 percent failure rate instead of the 14 percent failure rate Collins claimed in his study, Schultz said.

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