The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers of Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C.recently argued an important case before the Indiana Supreme Court. The issue raised in the case is whether family members who witness the death or injury of their loved one as a result of medical malpractice may recover for their emotional distress under Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act.
The case presented to the supreme court is Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund v. Gary Patrick. In the case, Gary Patrick watched as his son died before his eyes as a result of medical malpractice. Mr. Patrick was represented by Garau Germano Hanley & Pennington, P.C. in the trial court and was awarded $600,000 for his emotional distress claim. In addition, Mr. Patrick was awarded $316,531.66 on a separate claim under Indiana’s Adult Wrongful Death Statute, the maximum award permitted under that statute.
The Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund appealed the trial court’s judgment, arguing that Mr. Patrick was not permitted to recover for his emotional distress damages under the malpractice act. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment. The supreme court then agreed to take the case and heard arguments from the lawyers on November 12, 2009. The complete argument before the supreme court may be viewed on the player below.