Apr. 25, 2014 Court of Appeals Decisions (minutes) RE: breach of fiduciary duty, standard of care & experts; medical malpractice, law of the case, and post-judgment interest

April 25, 2014 Minutes No. 354-370

Highlights from this week’s decisions include a published decision ( 358. University Medical Center, Inc. vs. Michael Beglin, Executor of Est. of Jennifer W. Beglin) in a medical negligence case against University of Louisville Hospital in which the Supreme Court previously affirmed the compensatory damages but remanded to address post-judgment interest with COA affirming the award; and a nonpublished decision (351.  Davidson vs. King) which affirmed a  directed verdict dismissing claim for breach of fiduciary duty against plaintiff’s budget advisor (as an introductory matter in this decision, the COA noted the deficient briefs on statement of case hampered their review; failure to include unpublished decision relied upon in the appendix; and failure to include the trial videotape which would have been helpful (the briefs fortunately for the litigants the Court did not strike the briefs per the manifest injustice standard from Hallis v. Hallis, 328 S.W.3d 694, 696 (Ky. App. 2010).

Tort Report – tort and insurance cases include:

351.  Davidson vs. King
Torts; Breach of Fiduciary Duty;  Experts on Standard of Care
Pulaski; COA NPO 4/15/2014, AFFIRMING
COA affirmed trial court’s directed verdict dismissing claim for breach of fiduciary duty against plaintiff’s budget advisor.
358.  University Medical Center, Inc. vs. Michael Beglin, Executor of Est. of Jennifer W. Beglin Medical Negligence; Post judgment interest; “Law of the case” doctrine Jefferson County;  COA Published 4/25/2014;  Affirming  SEE BELOW IN PUBLISHED DECISIONS SECTION.

Click here for Apr 25, 2014 Minutes (354-370) for this weeks list of decisions announced by the Kentucky Court of Appeals with links to the full text of each decision.

Click here for links to all the archived Court of Appeals minutes.

PUBLISHED DECISIONS:

358.  University Medical Center, Inc. vs. Michael Beglin, Executor of Est. of Jennifer W. Beglin Medical Negligence; Post judgment interest; “Law of the case” doctrine Jefferson County;  COA Published 4/25/2014;  Affirming

COMBS, JUDGE: University Medical Center, Inc., d/b/a University of Louisville Hospital (“University Hospital”), appeals from an amended judgment of the Jefferson Circuit Court entered June 8, 2012, and an order of that court entered August 27, 2012, denying a motion to alter, amend, or vacate. University Hospital contends that the court erred by denying its motion to reduce the post-judgment interest rate of 12% on the judgment entered in favor of Michael G. Beglin on August 4, 2006. After our review, we affirm.

The jury found that the hospital had acted negligently in treating Beglin. It awarded $1,922,102.00 for the loss of Jennifer’s power to earn money; $367,358.09 for her medical expenses; $7,543.00 for her funeral and burial expenses; and $1,500,000.00 to each child until age 18 for the loss of motherly love, affection, guidance, and services. Finally, the jury awarded $3,750,000.00 in punitive damages. In addition to the damages awarded, the trial court also provided for post-judgment interest at the statutory rate of 12% (compounded annually) in its judgment entered on August 4, 2006.
University Hospital then appealed the judgment on two grounds: the alleged error as to a missing evidence instruction and the alleged impropriety of the punitive damages award. However, it did not identify the trial court’s refusal to adjust the post-judgment interest rate as an issue on appeal.
In an opinion rendered on October 27, 2011, the Supreme Court of Kentucky affirmed the judgment awarding compensatory damages. University Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a University of Louisville Hospital v. Beglin, 375 S.W.3d 783 (Ky. 2011). However, it reversed the punitive damages award and remanded for entry of a new judgment. Before the opinion became final on March 22, 2012, University Hospital paid $7,377,003.74 toward the jury award (as modified by the decision of the Supreme Court of Kentucky) plus interest.
On April 5, 2012, University Hospital filed a second motion to reduce the 12% post-judgment interest rate specified in the original judgment to 5% (beginning on August 1, 2007). The trial court amended its judgment as directed by the Supreme Court of Kentucky, but it denied University Hospital’s motion to reduce the post-judgment interest rate. The trial court concluded that law-of-the- case principles prevented it from considering any alteration in the interest rate allowed in its original judgment. It concluded that even if it were at liberty to revisit the issue, it would not exercise its discretion to alter the statutory interest rate.
Powell County;  COA Published 4/25/2014;  Affirming
Criminal Law
JONES, JUDGE: Jeremy Patton brings this appeal from a Powell Circuit Court judgment following his entry of a plea of guilty to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. The entry of the plea was conditioned on Patton’s right to appeal the circuit court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence. Having reviewed the record and pertinent law, we affirm.

Family Law;  Modification of child custody and jurisdiction
Bullitt County; COA Published 4/25/2014;  Vacating and Remanding

JONES, JUDGE: Tina Curry, now Njuguna, appeals an order of the Bullitt Circuit Court dismissing her motion for modification of a child custody order for lack of jurisdiction. For the reasons more fully explained below, we vacate and remand.

Download (MNT04252014.pdf, PDF, 112KB)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are inappropriate, offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *