In re the Matter of the Conservatorship for: CATHIE HARDT, An Adult.
AZHH, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company formerly known as Arizona Heart Hospital, LLC, Defendant/Appellee. LORRIE NEVENS, Special Conservator for Cathie Hardt, on behalf of Cathie Hardt; LORRIE NEVENS; and JEFFREY NEVENS, Plaintiffs/Appellants,
from the Superior Court in Maricopa County No. PB 2009-002468
The Honorable Edward W. Bassett, Judge
Solomon & Relihan, PC, Phoenix By Martin J. Solomon,
Kevin J. McAlonan Co-Counsel for Plaintiffs/Appellants
Breslo Law Firm, LLC, Scottsdale By John C. Breslo Co-Counsel
Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, Phoenix By James K. Kloss
Counsel for Defendant/Appellee
Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, Atlanta, GA By Joelle C.
Sharman Pro Hac Vice Counsel for Defendant/Appellee
Margaret H. Downie delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Presiding Judge Diane M. Johnsen and Judge John C.
Cathie Hardt and Lorrie Nevens (collectively,
"Appellants") appeal a final judgment entered after
a jury trial that resulted in a defense
verdict. Because we conclude the superior court
improperly precluded Appellants' rebuttal causation
expert as "duplicative, " and Appellants have
demonstrated resulting prejudice, we reverse and remand for a
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Hardt was admitted to the Arizona Heart Hospital
("AZHH") in the early morning hours of August 25,
2008 with "complete occlusion of the distal aorta at its
bifurcation, which presented as pulseless lower
extremities." She was deemed a "high-risk"
patient at risk of death without removal of the blockage.
Hardt underwent surgery at AZHH that same morning.
On August 27, AZHH staff documented the presence of Stage I
and II ulcers on Hardt's back and sacral/coccyx area. By
September 9, 2008, the ulcers had progressed to Stage III,
and upon discharge from AZHH on September 18, 2008 to
Heartstone Hospital-Mesa, LLC, dba Trillium Specialty
Hospital-East Valley ("Trillium"), Hardt had a
Stage IV ulcer.
Appellants sued AZHH and Trillium, alleging Hardt was a
vulnerable adult who developed "avoidable pressure
ulcers due to substandard nursing care, negligence, abuse,
and neglect." The court ordered the claims against
Trillium arbitrated, but the lawsuit against AZHH proceeded.
After a nine-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor
of AZHH. Appellants unsuccessfully moved for a new trial
pursuant to Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure
("Rule") 59. After the superior court issued its
final judgment, Appellants timely appealed. We have
jurisdiction pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes
("A.R.S.") sections 12-120.21(A)(1) and
I.Preclusion of Appellants' ...