Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Judge Mariani Reviews Propriety Award of Meds and Wages in a Premises Liability Personal Injury Case

In Wright v. Cacciutti, 3:12-cv-1682 (M.D. Pa. June 11, 2015 Mariani, J.), Judge Robert D. Mariani ruled on post-trial motions in a premises liability personal injury case and covered several important damages issues.

The court ruled that, under the Moorehead line of cases, the jury's award for past and future medical expenses could not be upheld given that the plaintiff had failed to establish the reasonable value of such expenses at trial.  The court noted that the plaintiff failed to offer either evidence of the actual cost of any past medical expenses, or proof of the reasonableness of those expenses.   As such, the jury's award in this regard was rejected as being impermissibly based upon pure speculation.

This Wright decision is also notable for the court's striking of the jury's award of damages for future medical care.  In this matter, the plaintiff did not introduce any evidence of the cost of future medical treatment, or expert testimony as to the necessity of any future medical care.  Judge Mariani noted that the issue of whether or not future medical care is necessary under the circumstances requires expert testimony in order to present this type of claim to a jury.  

Judge Mariani also upheld the settled rule that a plaintiff's own testimony is sufficient to support a claim for lost income, and may be used by the jury to infer an amount of future lost income.  

Anyone wishing to review this decision by Judge Mariani, may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Jim Beck of the Philadelphia office of Reed Smith.  Attorney Beck is the creator of the excellent Drug and Device Law Blog which can be viewed HERE.


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