Austin Weston

Title: BRANDIE MARIE BLAKELY, Plaintiff, v. AUSTIN-WESTON CENTER FOR COSMETIC…

Court: United States District Court, E.D. Virginia. Alexandria Division

Case Number: 1:04cv458.

Date: Dec 7, 2004

Fact:

The medical malpractice action is before the Court on defendants’ motion to strike and/or for partial summary judgment on punitive damages. At the November 18, 2004 pretrial conference, plaintiff was directed to file a response to defendants’ motion to strike punitive damages and in opposition to summary judgment. See Blakely v. Austin-Weston Ctr. for Cosmetic Surgery L.L.C., Case No. 1:04cv458 (E.D. Va. Nov. 18, 2004). Plaintiff complied by filing supplemental briefing on November 26, 2004. Because the facts and legal contentions are adequately set forth in the record, further oral argument is dispensed with and the matter is decided on the existing record. For the reasons stated below, defendants’ motion to strike and/or for partial summary judgment on punitive damages must be granted.

Issues:

  • Whether the actions of Dr. Byron D. Poindexter, the surgeon who administered the medication, and Austin-Weston warranted punitive damages.
  • Whether the prior incidents of mistaken injections of epinephrine at Austin-Weston were sufficiently similar to the present case to support a claim for punitive damages.
  • Whether Austin-Weston can be held liable for punitive damages on a theory of respondeat superior or its own negligence in implementing effective medication distribution policies.

Decision:

  • The court granted the defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment on punitive damages. It dismissed Blakely’s claim for punitive damages against all defendants.
  • The court found that the prior incidents of mistaken injections were not sufficiently similar to the present case to warrant punitive damages.
  • The court ruled that Austin-Weston cannot be held liable for punitive damages on the basis of respondeat superior or its own negligence in implementing medication distribution policies.

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