Bioethics Blogs

Jahi McMath – Update on Lawsuits 6 and 7

I have posted a number of recent filings in both the state damages case and in the federal constitutional case brought by Jahi McMath’s mother.  

These new filings raise a number of issues and a number of arguments on each issue.  The following eight points offer a basic summary.

  1. The state case has been reassigned to a new judge.
  2. The defendants plan to appeal the state trial court’s denial of their demurrers.
  3. The defendants have opposed the family’s motion to bifurcate  the state damages case.  They argue that the liability issue is far more complicated than the life/death issue.  So, it makes no sense to litigate the time-consuming issue before the simple issue.  Defendants also argue that the life/death issue must be determined first, since otherwise Jahi has no “standing” to bring a liability case.  Finally, they argue that the sequence proposed by the family (liability then damages) would be prejudicial.
  4. Defendant Rosen has served discovery requests on the family that seek documents and interrogatory responses on the life/death issue.
  5. Defendant Rosen has moved to intervene in the federal case.  He argues that a finding of life there could “exponentially” increase his exposure to damages in the state case. If Jahi is alive, then future medical expenses could exceed $5 million.  If she is dead, damages would likely be under $500,000 unless McMath proves malice justifying punitive damages.
  6. Defendant Rosen has also moved to dismiss the federal case on much the same grounds as his demurrer to the state case.
  7. Three new physician defendants have been served.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.