The largest malpractice judgment ever awarded by a Franklin County jury has been reduced by $3.2 million.
In November 2017, Vincent Lowe, 57, Union, was awarded $12,820,990 in his malpractice suit against Mercy Clinics and two doctors.
After an appeal and judgment after mandate, the award total is now $9,620,903.
The original judgment states Lowe would receive awards for past economic damages, past noneconomic damages, future medical damages and future noneconomic damages.
The award was appealed by attorneys for Mercy and the doctors last fall, and the Eastern District Court of Appeals upheld the 20th judicial circuit court’s judgment.
According to court documents, the evidence at trial showed Lowe’s life expectancy to be 25.7 years, but his actual life ended Oct. 23, 2019. His wife, Carol Lowe, was then substituted in the ongoing litigation.
Most of the damages awarded in the judgment were for future medical damages that will not be incurred due to the death of Lowe.
On Monday, March 23, Franklin County Associate Circuit Judge Stanley Williams issued a judgment after mandate limiting the payment of future medical damages to $900,000.
Court documents show the defendants are required to immediately pay $1,570,990 for past economic damages to Lowe’s estate.
The defendants are ordered to pay $900,000 for past noneconomic damages and $900,000 for future noneconomic damages.
The court exercised its discretion to award immediate medical damages and the defendants are required to pay $988,134 to Lowe’s estate and an additional $133,383 for “year 2” of Lowe’s medical damages.
Further, the court must award the sum of $5,128,396 in attorney fees to be paid immediately under the court of appeals mandate.
The defendants are further required to immediately pay an additional $86,934 in litigation expenses pursuant to the court of appeals opinion.
The payments shall be payable by the defendants in the applicable percentages in accord with the jury’s verdict.
In the original lawsuit, a Franklin County jury found in favor of Lowe’s allegation that as a result of negligence of Dr. Bryan Menges, D.O., Dr. James D. Cassat, M.D., Mercy East Communities (Mercy Hospital) and Mercy East Communities (Mercy Clinic), in failing to timely diagnose and treat a condition led to emergency surgery and extensive ongoing medical care.
The judgment, issued March 5, 2018, awarded past economic damages of $1,570,990.51, past noneconomic damages of $900,000, future noneconomic damages of $900,000, and future medical damages of $9,450,000 to be paid in periodic payments. Past damages of $2,470,990 were to be paid in a lump sum immediately.
The judgment states Dr. Menges and Mercy Hospital East Communities would be responsible for $9,259,604, or 65 percent of the total judgment.
Dr. Cassat and Mercy Clinic East Communities would be responsible for $3,561,386, or 25 percent of the settlement.