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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A subclavian line to deliver medicine was improperly inserted into the brachial artery of Linda Gayle Evans’ right arm instead of her vena cava. The medicine was pumped into Evans’ arm, which rotted from the inside and had to be amputated. Evans later died from illness related to the toxicity built up in her arm. Evans’ family sued Evans’ doctor, Horatio Sprague Taveau, the Abilene Regional Medical Center and others for medical malpractice. The jury found Taveau 75 percent negligent and the hospital 25 percent negligent. The jury awarded the family $150,000 for Evans’ physical pain and mental anguish; $500,000 for medical expenses; $2,700 to Evans’ daughter, $5,500 to Evans’ mother, and $9,000 to Evans’ father, for a total of $667,200. The trial court allowed for a 25 percent deduction (for the hospital’s part of the negligence) and a settlement credit, for a total of $257,000. Taveau raises several evidentiary issues on appeal. The Evans family appeals the reduction of damages. HOLDING:Affirmed in part; reversed and remanded in part. The court does not rule on several of Taveau’s evidentiary complaints because the videotaped depositions submitted in the appellate record show that the tapes were admitted by the trial court for record purposes only. Neither their full content nor the portions that were played for the jury were transcribed by the court reporter. The court cannot, therefore, tell which portions of the tapes were actually viewed by the jury. Taveau knew the court reporter wasn’t transcribing the tapes, yet he did not object. Taveau complains about a jury question that sought recovery to compensate Evans; he says the question should have asked how much money “would have” compensated Evans if she had lived instead of how much “would” compensate Evans. The court agrees that the jury question should have been phrased in this way, but the court also notes that Taveau did not object, and the alternative jury charge he offered was a misstatement of the law. Moreover, the court says, “everyone at trial, including the jury, was well aware that Evans was dead at the time of trial and clearly could not be personally compensated for her injuries.” Taveau then complains that the trial court improperly delayed a ruling on one of his exhibits containing Evans’ medical records, which Taveau wanted to introduce to show Evans’ alleged prior drug use. Taveau did not timely object, the court finds, so his error is not preserved for review. Further, the court says, even if the trial court had ruled more quickly � instead of 30 minutes later � the delay did not likely cause the rendition of an improper jury verdict. Taveau next complains that a member of the Evans party had improper contact with two jurors. While washing their hands in the restroom during a break, Evans’ mother asked, “Is anyone else having a hard time staying awake?” The court rules that the comments were not material, nor did they likely cause Taveau harm. The court notes that the mother obviously did not curry any favor with the jury, as the jury awarded her less than it awarded Evans’ father. The court overrules another of Taveau’s points on appeal due to his failure to object at trial. The court then turns to the Evans family’s arguments on appeal regarding the damages award. Though the court first agrees that the settlement credit was properly applied � the individual plaintiffs received settlement money from the hospital and the cumulative amount was deducted from the final total � the court then disagrees over the application of the 25 percent deduction. “When the percentage of negligence attributable to a particular defendant is greater than 50 percent, he is jointly and severally liable for the entire amount of damages. . . . Furthermore, in this case, Dr. Taveau chose a dollar-for-dollar credit rather than a percentage credit. . . . We hold that the trial court erred in deducting 25 percent from the jury’s award. The deductions should have been limited to the $257,000.00 settlement credit.” OPINION:Wright, J.; Wright and McCall, JJ.

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