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Raney v. Walter O. Moss Regional Hosp.

Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

December 8, 1993, Decided

No. 93-145

Opinion

 [*486]  THIBODEAUX, Judge.

Plaintiffs, Harold Raney, Marcus Lambert, Melodi Lambert, Cynthia Lambert Carrier, and Jennifer Lambert Williams, brought suit against Walter O. Moss Regional Hospital and the State of Louisiana through the Department of Health and Human Resources for damages. The plaintiffs' suit filed on May 23, 1985 asserted that they developed fears of contracting hepatitis "B" after Barbara Raney, the wife of Harold and the mother of the other plaintiffs, became a carrier of the disease after being pricked by contaminated needles at her place of employment, Moss Regional Hospital, between February 28, 1984 and September 26, 1984. The defendants filed an exception of no cause  [**2]  of action and in the alternative, no right of action, based upon their assertion that the plaintiffs' exclusive remedies were under the workers compensation scheme. The trial judge rendered a memorandum opinion denying the defendants' exception except as to Mr. Raney's consortium claim. An exception of prescription was also denied.

After the trial judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on the merits of the claims, both sides appealed. For the following reasons, we affirm.

ISSUES

The defendants assert the following assignments of error: (1) the trial court erred in denying the various exceptions of no cause or right of action and in not finding, after trial, that the plaintiffs' exclusive remedies were under the workers' compensation act; (2) the trial court erred in denying defendants' exception of prescription; (3) the trial court erred in allowing evidence of plaintiffs' fear of contracting hepatitis "B" without the prerequisite showing that it was more probable than not that they will contract hepatitis "B;" (4) the trial court erred in finding that the plaintiffs proved that the breach of duty owed was a substantial factor in bringing them harm; (5) the trial court erred in [**3]  awarding damages based on testimony of psychological damages only without any evidence of physical injury to plaintiffs; and, (6)  [*487]  the trial court erred in awarding damages which were not supported by the evidence.

Plaintiffs complain that the awards to them were inadequate.

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629 So. 2d 485 *; 1993 La. App. LEXIS 3812 **

HAROLD RANEY, ETC., Plaintiffs - Appellants v. WALTER O. MOSS REGIONAL HOSPITAL, ET AL, Defendants - Appellees

Subsequent History:  [**1]  Rehearing Refused January 5, 1994.

Prior History: On appeal from the Fourteenth Judicial District Court, Parish of Calcasieu, State of Louisiana; the Honorable Charley Quienalty, District Judge, Presiding.

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

hepatitis, disease, carrier, needle, consortium, blood, contaminated, cancer, vaccinations, distress, donated, emotional, disposed, disturb

Business & Corporate Law, Management Duties & Liabilities, Fiduciary Duties, Duty of Care, Criminal Law & Procedure, Sentencing, Fines, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Exclusivity, Causes of Action, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Clearly Erroneous Review, Judicial Officers, Judges, Torts, Types of Negligence Actions, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, Intentional Torts, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Pain & Suffering, Emotional Distress, Elements, Causation, Causation in Fact, Abuse of Discretion, Remedies, Damages, Discretionary Powers