Markow v. RosnerAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff and his wife filed suit against plaintiff's pain management physician, Howard L. Rosner, M.D., and Cedars for professional negligence and loss of consortium. Rosner's treatment rendered plaintiff a quadriplegic. A jury found that both Rosner and Cedars had been negligent, but that only Rosner’s negligence had been a substantial factor in causing plaintiff's severe injuries. The jury nonetheless apportioned 40 percent of fault to Cedars, apparently on the basis of its finding that Rosner was Cedars’s ostensible agent. Both defendants appealed. The court concluded that, under the circumstances, plaintiff knew or should have known that Rosner was not Cedars’s agent where he received actual notice and was treated in a nonemergency context. Therefore, Cedars’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict should have been granted. The court also concluded that the jury's negligence finding was supported by substantial evidence; the special verdict form used in this case properly required the jury to make findings only as to ultimate facts for plaintiffs’ sole cause of action; the trial court was not required to grant a new trial, but instead acted properly to eliminate the ambiguity or inconsistency by striking the jury’s apportionment of fault; and substantial evidence supports the jury’s award of future economic damages and costs. Accordingly, the court affirmed with respect to Rosner and reversed with respect to Cedars.