Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Expectancy

Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Expectancy

Macdonald v. Corrigan, 85 Va. Cir 165 (Fairfax County Aug. 8, 2012) reports a “failure to diagnose” case of “lost life expectancy”. The Court denied Defendants’ post-trial motion to reduce the jury’s medical malpractice verdict for emotional damages and for future medical expenses. Id. at 168-171.

First, Macdonald held Plaintiff’s emotional damages recoverable because there was the requisite underlying physical injury – the cancerous tumor increased in size and stage during the diagnostic delay – and the emotional damage were foreseeably and proximately caused by the medical malpractice. Id. at 168-170. Second, Macdonald found Plaintiff’s future medical expenses not speculative based on medical expert testimony that they were probable and estimable. Id. at 170-171.

The Court in Macdonald declined to remit the jury’s award as excessive. However, the Court did reduce it to the medical malpractice cap. Id. at 171.