The Supreme Court recently held that the Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF) is not bound by a partial summary judgment rendered solely against a defendant physician. In Khammash v. Clark, 2013-1564 (La. 5/7/14) — So.3d –, the physician settled with the plaintiffs for $100,000 and did not oppose a partial summary judgment which decided that the physician’s conduct was the cause of the plaintiff’s damages. Thereafter, the plaintiffs pursued the remainder of Medical Malpractice Act cap from the PCF.
At trial, the jury determined that the physician’s breach was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and awarded no damages. The appeals court reversed, finding that the issue of causation was not properly before the jury as it had been determined by the partial summary judgment. The Supreme Court reversed and held that the liability of the physician and the PCF are independent issues. Therefore, the PCF was not bound by the prior partial summary judgment.