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Articles Posted in New Mexico

Last week, in Siebert v. Okun, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the state’s damages cap in medical malpractice cases was constitutional, concluding the law did not violate the right to a trial by jury. This ruling struck down the Bernalillo County District Court’s 2018 ruling on Siebert v. Okun.

New Mexico’s Medical Malpractice Act

The New Mexico legislature passed the Medical Malpractice Act in 1976. The law caps damages in medical malpractice cases at $600,000. It applies to lost wages and pain and suffering. The cap excludes punitive damages and compensation for medical and rehabilitative treatments.

The father of a man shot and killed by a New Mexico State Police Officer has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit.

A sad, senseless death. The deceased was shot in the chest by state police officers while investigating a report of road rage. The road rage incident involved the deceased’s brother. When police arrived to investigate, the brothers didn’t realize it was the police outside, rather thought it was someone coming after them for the road rage matter. The brother fired two warning shots in the air. An officer fired back, hitting and killing the deceased.

The father previously filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the state court last year. A Santa Fe grand jury determined that the shooting was justified.

Is there a rampant legal malpractice problem in New Mexico? Jonathan Miller’s article in the New Mexico Examiner about a malpractice pandemic in New Mexico certainly gives cause for concern.

Our firm reviews serious auto accident, medical malpractice, and products liability (Byetta, Nuvaring, Chantix, Reglan, shoulder pain pump, denture cream, di Vinci, and  Zimmer hip replacement) claims. If you need a lawyer in New Mexico for a serious injury claim, call 800-553-8082.

The family of a woman who died in a 2007 balloon accident at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta settled their wrongful death lawsuit for $1.4 million. The victim died in an accident where she fell 70 feet after the balloon she was riding in became entangled in power lines. The balloon festival, the pilot of the balloon and two companies, Star Trail Inc. and Rainbow Ryders were named as defendants in the case.

A federal jury in Kansas jury awarded $23.5 million to a man who was severely injured in a truck accident in New Mexico on Route 54 near Tucumcari with a truck driver who tested positive for methamphetamine. Jurors found that the driver for Swift Transportation was 65% responsible for the accident that left Plaintiff with major spinal cord injuries. U.S. District Judge Monti Belot subsequently reduced the actual award consistent with New Mexico’s comparative negligence law to nearly $15.3 million.

This was a very serious injury case – the defendant has $5 million in past and future medical bills. A big as this case was, it is not the biggest verdict the defendant Swift Transportation has taken in, even the last year. Last December, an Arizona jury awarded $36.5 million to the family of a man killed in a collision with another one of its trucks.

There is a story on the verdict in the Wichita Eagle.

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