As to the requisite degree of particularity of findings in regard to damages, the findings required under Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 52(a), 28 U.S.C.S., must be made with sufficient particularity so that they may be reviewed. When a party recovers a money judgment in contested litigation, the trial judge should indicate on the record his reasons for non-adherence to the fee schedule set forth in Alaska R. Civ. P. 82(a) in determining his award of attorney's fees.
A patient filed suit against a doctor to recover for permanent injuries to her vocal chords and larynx resulting from thyroid surgery. The trial court awarded the patient damages and attorney's fees and denied the doctor's motion for a new trial based on newly discovered evidence. Both parties appealed. The patient alleging the inadequacy of the awarded damages.
Did the court give a proper basis for the damages?
The court held that the trial court's findings as to damages for past and future physical impairment, as well for loss of time and future impairment of earning capacity, were not sufficiently detailed as required by Alaska R. Civ. P. 52 to afford a clear understanding of the basis of the trial court's award. Therefore, the court vacated the trial court judgment and remanded for more specific and detailed findings. The court concluded that the doctor's motion for a new trial was properly denied because the new evidence was not in existence at the time of trial and did not qualify as newly discovered evidence.