I’ve gotten a copy of the Special Verdict form and it is here. I talked with the lawyers on both sides, and Kristy Larson (co-counsel for the defense) gave me her detailed guess on why the jury decided “no causation”:


Thank you for reaching out to us. We have not polled the jury yet so we don’t know at what point during 1/6/2012 they found Aspen Ridge breached the standard of care (you might want to correct the caption to reflect Aspen Ridge and not Avalon) [FJC Note- what was with my brain this morning? I had both the plaintiffs’ and the defendant’s names wrong. I have fixed this.] or which of our causation arguments stuck with them. But here is a synopsis of our causation arguments:
(1) Without an autopsy or diagnostic tests in the emergency room, Plaintiffs cannot prove that a pulmonary embolism caused her to go into cardiac arrest – she had numerous other serious health issues that put her at risk for a cardiac event. We were able to show that the ER physician was asked by a representative of the family (we argued it was their lawyer, but this was disputed) to change the death certificate, which originally listed the manner of death as “natural” causes, to an “accident.” On the Amended Death Certificate, the ER physician also changed a contributing cause of her arrhythmia from “likely” pulmonary embolism to “suspected”.

(2) Even if she had a pulmonary embolism, that was clearly caused by the injuries she sustained in the car accident. Our theme from start to finish was that her death was caused by the car accident – for which they already sued and settled with the driver. We weren’t able to get into evidence the amount of the settlement or even that it was monetary, but we were able to get in the “fact of settlement,” and we were able to put the driver was on the special verdict form (that battle was hard fought involving two different summary judgment motions but we prevailed on both). Interestingly, however, they never reached that question and, instead, just found that Aspen Ridge didn’t cause Mrs. Janzen’s death.  
(3) We had testimony from Aspen Ridge’s house physician (who visited Aspen Ridge once a week and acted as the “attending physician” for patients) that had a nurse called him prior to her collapse at around 8:00 p.m., he would not have told the nurse to send her to the hospital based on Mrs. Janzen’s signs and symptoms. This was a missing causal link in Plaintiffs’ case in chief– while their causation expert testified there was still time to save Mrs. Janzen earlier in the day on 1/6/2012, they could only speculate if the nurses had called a physician that he or she actually would have sent her to the hospital.  
3.  By the time Mrs. Janzen was found with a weak pulse at around 8:00 that evening, it was too late to save her. Plaintiffs own treating physician admitted that he had made an error in his expert report wherein he opined that Mrs. Janzen had a 70% chance of survival had the paramedics been called immediately. My partner, Greg Roberts, did an excellent cross of Plaintiffs’ causation expert who admitted his original 70% survival estimate was clearly mistaken as it was based on Mrs. Janzen receiving advanced cardiac life support right when she went into cardiac arrest i.e., at time zero. Only trained EMTs can perform ACLS (defibrillator, administer drugs (epinephrine), clear airways/intubation) and it took them 8 minutes to arrive to the Aspen Ridge facility, so [their expert had to] change his chance of survival to less than 20% and that % still failed to take into account that the EMTs found Mrs. Janzen had no shockable heart rhythm upon their arrival.”

Salt Lake Wrongful Death Attorney Blog