The Appellate Group

Wakefield v. Gutzman

Wakefield v. Gutzman, 2024 UT App 76 (Christiansen Forster, J.)


Wakefield sued Gutzman for medical malpractice after Wakefield’s son died during a routine dental procedure. After a jury found that Gutzman did not breach the standard of care, Wakefield filed a post-trial judgment seeking judgment as a matter of law or a new trial. The district court denied the motion, Wakefield appealed, and the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding: 

  • The district court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded evidence at trial or when it overruled objections to expert testimony.
  • The district court’s decision to deny Wakefield’s post-trial motion was proper. 
  • Practice tip: Even if a party presents unrebutted expert testimony at trial, a jury is not obligated to accept that testimony as true.

Read the full court opinion