BRANDON OROSCO and JENNIFER OROSCO, husband and wife, individually, and as parents and next friends of KAYLEN OROSCO, MARISSA OROSCO, and SILAS OROSCO, Plaintiffs/Appellees,
MARICOPA COUNTY SPECIAL HEALTH CARE DISTRICT, a body politic for and dba MARICOPA INTEGRATED HEALTH SYSTEM, Defendant/Appellant.
from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. CV2012-004724
The Honorable John Christian Rea, Judge
IN PART; VACATED AND REMANDED IN PART
Powers & Cunningham PLLC, Phoenix By Frank I. Powers
Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellees
Slattery Petersen PLLC, Phoenix By Elizabeth A. Petersen
Counsel for Defendant/Appellee
Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen delivered the opinion of the
Court, in which Judge Jon W. Thompson and Chief Judge Michael
J. Brown joined.
Brandon Orosco and his family sued the Maricopa County
Special Health Care District, alleging medical malpractice.
They made two offers of judgment pursuant to Arizona Rule of
Civil Procedure 68. The jury's verdict in their favor
exceeded both offers of judgment. We hold the superior court
did not err in imposing sanctions calculated from the date of
the first offer of judgment. We also affirm the court's
order taxing the costs of service of process.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
The Oroscos served an offer of judgment of $3, 950, 000 on
December 13, 2013. On September 27, 2014, they served another
offer of judgment for $3, 949, 999. The District did not
accept or object to either offer. After the jury rendered a
verdict of $4.25 million and found the District 99% at fault,
the Oroscos requested sanctions under Rule 68(g) calculated
from the date of the first offer. The superior court rejected
the District's argument that sanctions were available
under Rule 68 only from the date of the second offer, and
awarded sanctions of prejudgment interest from the date of
the first offer of judgment and $147, 441.33 in expert
witness fees and double taxable costs incurred after the date
of the first offer.
We have jurisdiction over the District's timely appeal
pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.")
sections 12-2101(A)(1), (5)(a) (2017) and -2102(B)
Sanctions Under Rule 68(g).
We review de novo legal issues arising under Rule
68. See Levy v. Alfaro, 215 Ariz. 443, 444,
¶ 6 (App. 2007). We begin with the plain language of the
rule. See Fragoso v. Fell, 210 Ariz. 427, 430,
¶ 7 (App. 2005).
Rule 68(g) provides that if an offeree rejects an offer of
judgment and "does not obtain a more favorable judgment,
" the offeree must pay sanctions of reasonable expert
witness fees and double taxable costs incurred after making
the offer, and prejudgment interest on unliquidated claims
accruing from the date of the offer. Rule 68(h)(2) provides
that "[a] rejected offer does not preclude a later