Defendant appealed the partial denial of his motion for judgment as a matter of law, while plaintiff cross-appealed the grant of JMOL to defendant on the punitive damages claim. Linda Warner died from sepsis after her appendix ruptured during her incarceration. Plaintiff, administrator of Warner’s estate, filed a §1983 claim against prison officials and the medical professionals involved in Warner’s care. The claims against defendant, the jail physician, went to trial. The district court granted defendant’s motion for JMOL as to punitive damages but otherwise denied the motion. The jury returned a compensatory damages verdict for plaintiff.
Where the local standard of care under the “locality rule” was a question of fact for the jury, defendant was obligated to renew his motion for JMOL after the jury’s verdict and his failure to do so waived his appeal, but the district court correctly dismissed the punitive damages claim where there was no evidence that defendant acted with malice or reckless disregard of Stewart’s appendicitis.
Judgment is affirmed.
Turner v. Faulkner County (MLW No. 80435/Case Nos. 22-1469 & 22-1492 – 10 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, per curiam) Appealed from U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas, Marshall, J. (Dustin Robert Darst, of Jonesboro, AR for appellant; Paul D. McNeill, of Jonesboro, AR on the brief) (Breean Walas, of Bozeman, MT for appellee; Jessica Virden Mallett, of Little Rock, AR on the brief)