Hlatky v. Steward Health Care System, LLCAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the order of the superior court finding that Defendant committed a breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and awarding $10.2 million in damages, holding that the superior court did not abuse its discretion.
The jury awarded Plaintiff in excess of $22 million in damages after Defendant withdrew its support for Plaintiff's research laboratory. The judge conditionally ordered a new trial unless Plaintiff agreed to remit all but $10.2 million of the awarded damages, which represented in part $10 million that Plaintiff testified was necessary to reestablish her laboratory. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial evidence supported the finding that Defendant committed a breach of both the express terms of the contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (2) the cost of reestablishing the laboratory was a permissible element of the damages; and (3) the judge did not abuse her discretion in adding a remittitur of all but $10.2 million of the award of damages. The judges were equally divided as to whether the $10 million should go to Plaintiff outright or subject to a restriction, and therefore, the award of damages stood without any restriction.