Pain and Suffering Ad Infinitum

July 7, 2006

The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently published Bledsaw v. Dennis, the latest attempt to distinguish Miller v. Swift medicals but no pain and suffering verdicts. The jury awarded Bledsaw her full medical expenses, but nothing for pain and suffering. Bledsaw attempted to distinguish Miller by arguing that it did not apply since evidence of her pain and suffering was uncontroverted.

The Court noted that “the Supreme Court recently rejected a similar argument in Bayless v. Boyer, noting that despite claims that the evidence of the plaintiff’’s “pain and suffering was uncontroverted, there were numerous instances where relevant testimony on the subject was either impeached or contradicted.”” As we have stated, “[a] jury is not bound to believe a plaintiff or her doctors.” “We cannot say that the jury’’s verdict was not supported by the evidence, or that the trial court clearly erred by failing to grant a new trial.”

This is a typical result in cases involving minor medical expenses and subjective injuries. The fact that the Court of Appeals published this case indicates to me a desire to resolve this issue once and for all. I think if there is going to be any substantial ruling affecting this issue, it will need to come from the Supreme Court in the Gibson case. Discretionary review has been filed in Gibson. I will keep readers posted if the Court decides to hear it.

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