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Laney v. Vance

Mississippi Supreme Court
112 So. 3d 1079 (2013)


Facts

Mamie Vance Hemphill was admitted to the hospital and given a dialysis catheter. The catheter became infected. Dr. Charles Laney (defendant) initially left in the catheter and treated Hemphill with antibiotics, before eventually moving her into intensive care. Hemphill died three days after being admitted to the hospital. Martin Vance (plaintiff) brought a wrongful-death suit against Laney. The trial court instructed the jury, among other things, to add to any award of damages the value of Hemphill’s life. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Vance and awarded $1,000,000 in damages, including $200,000 for economic damages and $800,000 for noneconomic damages. Laney appealed, arguing that the trial court’s jury instructions on value of life were improper.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pierce, J.)

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