`

Justices grant transfer in 2 wrongful death cases

April 8, 2014

The Indiana Supreme Court will consider whether attorney fees awarded as damages in wrongful death cases from the Indiana Patients Compensation Fund are subject to a 15 percent cap of the total reward. It’s one of two appeals justices accepted last week, both involving wrongful death cases.

Justices will take up the question by granting transfer in a divided Court of Appeals opinion that awarded fees exceeding 15 percent in Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund v. Judy Holcomb, Personal Representative of the Estate of Mable Louis Cochran, Deceased, 49A05-1207-CC-340.

The COA majority held that the statutory cap does not apply to the calculation of excess damages of any type from the fund.

Separately, the court also agreed to hear a case in which the Court of Appeals ruled the trial court erred in granting a new trial because the defendant doctor’s counsel failed to disclose the identity and opinions of two expert witnesses before a disclosure deadline.

A jury returned a verdict for the doctor, but the trial court granted a new trial after plaintiffs objected to one expert’s testimony as a pathologist, arguing he only should have been allowed to testify as a pulmonologist. The COA ruled the trial court abused its discretion in Don H. Dumont, M.D. v. Penny Davis and Nicole Anderson as Co-Administratrixes of the Estate of Charmitta Jordan, deceased, 45A05-1207-CT-384.

Those cases are the lone matters to which justices granted transfer for the week ending April 4. Transfer was denied in 20 cases. Transfer dispositions may be viewed here.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Recent Articles by Dave Stafford