AMA: Georgia SC issues favorable ruling in key med-mal case

The following article appeared in the American Medical Association’s ‘Advocacy Update’…

A Georgia patient’s husband cannot go forward with a retrial that would focus only on the damages awarded in his wife’s medical liability case and not allow a jury to retry the liability of the facts of the case.

A recent ruling from the Supreme Court of Georgia that rejected Shaw G. Evans’ request for a damages-only retrial is a relief to physicians who told the state’s high court that retrial only focused on the damages would open up physicians and hospitals to increased liability. Evans sought a retrial on damages because he believes the dollar amount awarded was too low.

“Allowing a separate jury to hear a damages-only trial has been proven to lead to excessive damages and injustice,” the Litigation Center of the American Medical Association and State Medical Societies and the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) tell the court in an amicus brief they filed jointly in the case, Evans v. Rockdale Hospital. “A concern courts have identified with partial retrials is the prejudice to the parties that can result from the evidentiary decisions made in the retrial. Often the second jury cannot set damages without an understanding of the underlying breach.”

MAG members can contact MAG General Counsel Bethany Sherrer at bsherrer@mag.org with questions.   

AMA ‘Top court turns down bid for damages-only medical liability retrial’ article