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EVIDENCE - NEW TRIAL - CIVIL PROCEDURE - MOTTERSHAW V. LEDBETTER, AS ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF WOMACK, DECEASED

Mottershaw v. Ledbetter, as Administrator of the Estate of Womack, Deceased, [Ms. 1110959, Nov. 8, 2013] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2013). Here the Supreme Court unanimously affirms the Barbour Circuit Court's order granting a new trial in a medical negligence death case based upon violations by the defense of pre-trial rulings on plaintiff's motions in limine. Plaintiff alleged that Mottershaw, a radiologist employed by The Radiology Group, failed to detect a cancerous mass revealed by a CT scan. The victim died of cancer. Prior to trial, the victim's lawyer filed a motion in limine to preclude reference to the failure by another radiologist to detect the same cancerous mass two weeks later. The trial court granted the motion in limine. Nevertheless, Mottershaw's counsel on two occasions in the trial made reference to the excluded evidence and then failed to exclude such references in documentary evidence that was submitted to the jurors for consideration in their deliberations. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Dr. Mottershaw and her group. Plaintiff filed a motion for new trial alleging the jury was improperly influenced by references to the excluded evidence. The trial court agreed and granted the new trial. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that the trial court did not exceed its discretion in finding that the jury may have been unlawfully influenced by the references to the excluded evidence.

Related Documents: 1182013_mottershaw

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