On November 10th, the long-awaited decision by Judge Su Chon on reduction of the verdict in the Scott case came down. (See my blog entries from February 20, March 3, and July 26th.)

The memorandum decision held that the governmental immunity cap violated the Open Courts provision in declaring all governmental actions, of whatever nature, were governmental functions. The University Hospital receives only about 1% of its budget from taxpayer funds, and medical care is not the kind of service that only a government can provide. And the reduction of the verdict from 5.5 million dollars to $621,000 left Mr. Scott with no substitute remedy under the Berry v. Beech Aircraft analysis.

The $11,000,000 verdict had already been reduced substantially- $6,000,000 in general damages were awarded by the jury to Mr. and Mrs Scott. However, Judge Chon reduced this to $480,000 under the medical malpractice noneconomic damages cap. (This cap was upheld in Judd v. Drezga, 2004 UT 91, 103 P.3d 135.) Thus, the total award stands at around $5,500,000.

We will certainly hear more about this decision on appeal.
Salt Lake Medical Malpractice Case

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