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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Medical Malpractice: Tennessee Supreme Court Holds Plaintiffs May Argue the Value of Non-Economic Monetary Damages to Jury

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued its opinion today in Elliott v. Cobb, No. W2009-00961-SC-S09-CV (Tenn. 2010). Here is what part of the syllabus states:

The issue presented in this interlocutory appeal is whether a plaintiff in a medical malpractice action is prohibited from arguing or suggesting to the jury any monetary amounts for noneconomic damages. We hold that the language of Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-117 (2000) prohibits the plaintiff from disclosing the amount of damages requested in the plaintiff’s pleading, but does not preclude the plaintiff from arguing or suggesting monetary amounts for non-economic damages to jurors at trial. The judgment of the trial court is reversed, and this case is remanded for further proceedings.

Here is a link to the majority opinion:

Justice Koch wrote a seperate concurring opinion. Here's the link to it:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Medical Malpractice: 12-by-12 Sponge Sewn Up in a Patient---Who's a Judge!

This post is a sister post to my August 17, 2010 post below. My client had a large sponge sewn up in him during surgery in 2006. This story (see link below) is about a Florida judge who had the same thing happen to him.

The sad thing about this sort of thing is this: IT'S ABSOLUTELY PREVENTABLE! All it takes is a little bit of care by the surgeon(s) and the support staff; all of which share blame for this sort of thing generally. A surgeon, however, should share the lion's share of the blame tough.

This sort of thing, which happens regularly, is known as a "Never Event" because it should never happen. However, a lot of surgeons are being encouraged by their malpractice insurance carriers to call sewing up a sponge in a patient (which the surgeon did) a "Hospital Acquired Condition." Why? Because it makes it look like it's something the hospital alone did wrong and not the surgeon. This is when you really need to be concerned---as a patient---that your surgeon, if he or she sews a sponge up in you during surgery, will refuse to accept responsibility and pawn it off on the hospital as a "Hospital Acquired Condition." Is that really the "right thing to do"?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2001

Please honor those who died that day. They were innocent victims of a cowardly attack. God rest their souls.

Please also remember the families of those who died. May God be with them.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Medical Malpractice: Petition to Rehear Denied in Estate of Bell v. Shelby County Health Care Corp.

This post is related to my June 24, 2010 post about the Tennessee Supreme Court case of Estate of Bell v. Shelby County Health Care Corp. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied the petition to rehear the case, which was filed by Shelby County Health Care Corp.

Here's a link to the opinion denying the petition to rehear, to wit: