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Trustmark National Bank v. Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center

5/30/2000

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/31/1998


TRIAL JUDGE: HON. LARRY EUGENE ROBERTS


COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAUDERDALE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT


NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY


TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: VERDICT FOR THE DEFENDANTS.


DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 05/30/2000


ISSUES


I. THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN REFUSING TO GRANT APPELLANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT


A. BECAUSE OF ADMISSIONS OF THE DOCTOR


B. BECAUSE OF THE PARTICULAR FACTS OF THIS CASE.


II. THE VERDICT OF THE JURY IS AGAINST THE OVERWHELMING WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE.


III. THE LOWER COURT COMMITTED REVERSIBLE ERROR BY DIRECTING A VERDICT IN FAVOR OF THE HOSPITAL WHEN THERE WERE MATERIAL FACTS IN DISPUTE.


IV. THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN INSTRUCTING THE JURY.


A. RES IPSA LOQUITUR


B. SUDDEN EMERGENCY AND/OR CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE OF MOTHER.


C. PEREMPTORY INSTRUCTION


V. BECAUSE OF THE ACTIONS OF THE ATTORNEY FOR THE DOCTOR, A NEW TRIAL SHOULD BE GRANTED.


A. BY WILLFULLY VIOLATING THE IN LIMINE ORDER OF THE COURT REGARDING THE REPUTATION OF THE DOCTOR


B. BY IMPROPER ARGUMENT REGARDING AN HONEST ERROR IN JUDGMENT.


C. BY APPEALING TO THE PASSION AND PREJUDICE OF THE JURY.


VI. A NEW TRIAL SHOULD BE GRANTED BECAUSE THE JURY'S QUESTION WAS NEVER RESPONDED TO BY THE COURT.


Finding no error, we affirm.


FACTS


. Tonya Perkins was thirty-two years old when she was admitted to the hospital for delivery of her first child on September 6, 1994. She had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 22 weeks and was treated successfully. At 37 weeks she was brought into the hospital for an amniocentesis, which is a test to determine if the baby was mature. The baby was found to be mature, and the doctor initiated labor. Labor was induced the next day, and she started having contractions about noon on September 7, 1994. The testimony and doctors' records indicate that the mother was brought into the delivery room at 1:25 p.m. and the baby was delivered at 1:34 p.m. Tonya Perkins, who weighed approximately 200 pounds, had trouble pushing the baby out on her own, so the doctor used a Mightivac, an instrument used to suction the baby's head out of the mother. Once the infant's head was delivered, the doctor noticed that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the infant's neck so he removed the same.


. There were six people in the delivery room at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian when Tyler was born: Mrs. Tonya Perkins, her husband, James Perkins, Dr. Ronnye Purvis, labor and delivery nurse Janet Mowdy, nursery nurse Robin Butler, and OB technician Dolly McCarty. James Perkins did not testify, and Nurse Robin Butler testified that she did not see the event.


. Dr. Ronnye Purvis is a licensed and board certified gynecologist and obstetrician who has been practicing for more than ten years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Marquette University and his medical degree at the University of Wisconsin. He completed his residency at Mercy Hospital Medical Center, which is affiliated with the University of Illinois and Loyola University. He received a National Public Health Service Scholarship in medical school in exchange for being sent to work where needed after graduation. He was sent to Meridian, Mississippi and decided to stay once his required term was over. Dr. Purvis testified that once the baby's head had emerged he told the mother not to push so he could remove the cord from around the in

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