Univ. Med. Ctr. v. BeglinAnnotate this Case
After a surgery at University Hospital, Jennifer Beglin passed away. Appellee, Michael Beglin, brought suit against the Hospital. A jury found that the Hospital, through its employees and agents, acted negligently in causing the death of Jennifer. The trial court then entered judgment awarding compensatory and punitive damages. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) the trial court properly gave a missing evidence instruction in connection with the unexplained disappearance with an occurrence report because (i) the trier of fact is entitled to such an instruction when it may be reasonably believed that material evidence within the exclusive control of a party was lost without explanation, and the trier of fact may find that the evidence was intentionally and in bad faith destroyed or concealed by the party possessing it, and (ii) the instruction did not unduly affect the general verdict or punitive damages award; but (2) the trial court erred by giving a punitive damages instruction under the circumstances in this case. Remanded.