Eastley v. VolkmanAnnotate this Case
Paula Eastley, as the administrator of the estate of her son, Steven Hieneman, filed an amended complaint against Dr. Paul Volkman and Tri-State Healthcare, LLC, the clinic where Volkman practiced, and Denise Huffman, doing business as Tri-State Health Care. The jury found that Volkman's medical malpractice and Huffman's negligence had proximately caused Hieneman's death, and the trial court entered judgment in Eastley's favor. The court of appeals affirmed. Although two of the three judges on the court found that based on an ordinary negligence theory, the jury's verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence, a dissenting judge prevented a reversal by concluding that because Huffman had not renewed her motion for a directed verdict or filed a motion for new trial or for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, she had forfeited all but plain error review. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) when the evidence to be considered is in the court's record, motions are not required to challenge manifest weight of the evidence on appeal; and (2) in civil cases, the sufficiency of the evidence is quantitatively and qualitatively different from the weight of the evidence. Remanded for consideration of the issue based upon the appropriate standard.