On Friday Hinds County Senior Judge Tomie Green rendered a defense verdict in Nickerson v. Univ. of Miss. Medical Center. Here is the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order.

The decision was from a 2016 trial of a medical malpractice case against UMMC that Plaintiff filed in 2004.

The case involved the 2003 death of a newborn. Prior to birth the baby was diagnosed with an often deadly heart abnormality (trisuspid artresia). At birth the baby also had pulmonary hypoplasia and several other problems.

The Court determined:

a preponderance of the evidence weighs heavily in favor of this Court’s finding that Dillion Nickerson was very ill at birth, both as to two main organs necessary to sustain his life… Dillion’s pulmonary hypoplasia was the most medically probably cause of Dillion’s death, rather than his cardiac problem…

The Court concluded that plaintiff failed to prove a breach in the standard of care or proximate cause.

John Holiday represented the plaintiff. Mike Coleman and Jacob Malatesta of Hagwood Adelman Tipton in Jackson represented UMMC.

My Take:

The case is so old that electronic filing didn’t exist for most of its existence. I can’t tell from the docket what took it so long to get to trial.

But my guess is the facts. Plaintiff lawyers tend to not push cases they aren’t enthusiastic about.

Update: Based on the comments from attorneys involved in the case, my inclination that the plaintiff’s attorney did not push the case was wrong. By all accounts, he couldn’t get the case set.

Delays in getting cases to trial in state court are as big a problem as ever even though there are fewer pending cases. I don’t get it.

Lengthy delays in resolving cases like what happened in this case are horrible. The Mississippi Supreme Court should amend the Rules of Civil Procedure to require scheduling orders with trial settings like in the federal system. That system is time tested and works. I may talk more about this issue later in a separate post.

  • Jacob Malatesta

    Whoops. Hit send too quickly.

  • Just an Observer

    Coleman has been on a roll with wins. His success doesn’t surprise me anymore. Agreed on the theory re: pushing (vs. not pushing) cases. Its tough when the defendants have to drag the plaintiffs to the courthouse.

  • Mike Coleman

    I typically would not comment on my own case, but I did not want the fact that John Holaday did a great job representing his client to be missed or lost in the comments on this case. He worked the case up well, and tried a great case. The continuances could not be avoided.