Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Verdict For Past Medical Expenses But Not For Pain and Suffering Overturned By Trial Court


In the decision of Mazzie v. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg, No. 2016-C-2523 (C.P. Lehigh Co. Dec. 31, 2019 Varricchio, J.), handed down at the end of last year, the court ruled that the Plaintiffs were entitled to a new trial limited to damages in this medical malpractice case where the jury awarded the Plaintiffs $39,000.00 for past medical expenses but $0 damages for pain and suffering, future medical expenses, and loss of consortium. 

The court ruled that this verdict shocked the court’s conscience such that the court granted the Plaintiffs’ Motion for a New Trial.

According to the Opinion, the case arose out of an alleged medical malpractice related to a surgical procedure. 

The court in this matter cited to the case of Davis v. Mullen, in which that court ruled that a jury’s award of medical expenses without compensation for pain and suffering should not be disturbed where the trial court had a reasonable basis to believe that the jury did not believe that the Plaintiff suffered any pain and suffering or that a pre-existing condition or injury was the sole cause of the alleged pain and suffering. 

In contrast, the court in the Mazzie found that there was no reasonable basis to believe that the Plaintiff did not suffer any pain as a result of the alleged malpractice. The court also found that there was no reasonable basis to believe that a pre-existing condition or injury was the sole cause of the Plaintiff’s alleged pain and suffering. 

As such, the trial court granted a new trial limited to the issue of damages. 

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Aug. 25, 2020).



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