Virginia jury awards over $3 million to injured hospital patient.

A jury in Newport News Virginia awarded $3.5 million to a woman who was injured while under the care of a hospital. The 87-year-old woman had a hip surgery but fell while still recovering in the care of Riverside Hospital. The case is an interesting juxtaposition between a negligence case and a medical malpractice case. Here, the plaintiff alleged her injuries were due to negligence on the part of the hospital staff and personnel, rather than the fault of a doctor in performance of medical care. The plaintiff was successful in persuading the jury the hospital could or should have been able to prevent the injury had it exercised reasonable care.

On the plaintiff side there is cause for guarded enthusiasm. The hurdle of trying the case successfully is over, but the post trial procedure now begins. Given the amount of the award it would be surprising if the defendant doesn’t request a new trial, reduction of the judgment, or a judgment not withstanding the verdict which could take weeks or months depending on the volume of cases on the court’s docket. In Louisiana, the time delay for filing an appeal begins after post trial relief has been adequately disposed of.

Changes to Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure: Summary Judgment

Some of you may already be aware of changes to Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure article 966 governing summary judgments. On its face, it appears that evidence is “deemed admitted” when it is submitted in support or in opposition to the summary judgment, and which is not addressed accordingly. The draft copy of the law states “objections to evidence in support of or in opposition to a motion for summary judgment must be raised in memorandum or written motion to strike stating the specific grounds therefor.” At this point, we can only guess as to what the practical and procedural implications will be.

The other notable change to article 966 is in subpart B(2), providing that in the event summary judgment is denied the court “should provide reasons for the denial on the record, either orally upon rendition or in writing sua sponte or upon request of a party within ten days of rendition.” Although the impact of this provision is also uncertain, it appears to aspire towards clarity. All of these changes became effective on August 1, 2013 and the Louisiana Legislature website already reflects these changes in the text. As always, your questions, comments, and observations in the comments are appreciated.

Sometimes it’s the little things

If this blog has any readers, then it should be evident that I’m big on handing out example forms. I will admit, the previous forms have been more complex and absolutely do not substitute actual legal advice; however sometimes its the simpler things that matter. A colleague asked me for a sample motion to reset the other day. So, if you’re new to the practice or just curious, here is an example form of a motion to reset.