I recently blogged about the “mommy makeover” case, in which a jury awarded the family of Maritess Lopez, who died of aspiration pneumonia shortly after , $1.95 million. I had been distressed by comments of some locals who felt that Ms. Lopez was to blame for her own demise because she dared to have cosmetic surgery.
The defendant doctor’s lawyers filed a motion for JNOV, which is legalese for asking the Judge to overturn the jury’s verdict. A judge should only grant this motion if the moving party can demonstrate that no reasonable jury could have arrived at the verdict. It is quite unusual for a judge to let a case progress to a jury verdict that has no legal basis, so JNOV is rarely granted and this judge did not grant the motion. The defendant doctor will now either have to pay the judgment or take the case up to the appellate court.