Jones v. Harris
Louisiana Court of Appeals
896 So. 2d 237 (2005)
Jacquelyn Jones (plaintiff) was driving in New Orleans when the rental vehicle she was driving was rear ended by a Jeep driven by Ms. Harris (defendant). Jones suffered injuries to her back and ribs. At the time of the collision, Harris was in the course of her employment with the State of Louisiana. Afterward, Jones was required to undergo various medical treatments for her back injuries, including surgeries. Jones filed suit against Harris, her insurer, and later the State of Louisiana. Jones’ husband, Jack, joined in the suit to assert a claim for loss of consortium. Jones’ two treating physicians testified that more likely than not, her back injuries were related to the collision. At the State’s request, Dr. Abbott testified that Jones’ surgeries Jones were the immediate cause of her back pain, not the vehicle accident. The trial court granted Jones’ motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, to which the various defendants did not object. A three-day jury trial was thereafter held on the issues of causation and damages. The jury found for Jones and awarded $1,163,396 in damages, divided up as follows: $154,326 for past medical expenses, $80,000 for future medical expenses, $80,206 in loss of past wages, $348,864 in loss of future wages/earning capacity, $500,000 in general damages, and a separate damage amount of $40,000 for loss of consortium to Mr. Jones. Harris and the other defendants appealed, arguing that the amounts for general damages, loss of past wages, and loss of future wages/earning capacity were excessive. They also challenged the amount of damages for the loss of consortium claim.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Murray, J.)
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