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Judd v. Drezga

Utah Supreme Court
103 P.3d 135 (2004)


Athan Montgomery (plaintiff) was born with severe brain damage as a result of a failed attempt by Dr. Gregory Drezga (defendant) to deliver Montgomery using forceps. Heidi Judd (plaintiff), personally and as the parent and guardian of Montgomery, brought suit against Drezga. At trial, the jury awarded Montgomery $22,735.30 for the amounts already expended to maintain his life, $1,000,000 to continue maintaining his life, and $1,250,000 in noneconomic damages for diminished quality and enjoyment of life. Drezga moved to reduce the noneconomic damages based on a Utah statute capping some forms of damages for medical-malpractice victims at $250,000. The trial court granted Drezga’s motion. Judd appealed, arguing that the cap violated the Utah Constitution because the cap deprived state citizens of a remedy and discriminated against certain classes of plaintiffs.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wilkins, J.)

Dissent (Durham, J.)

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