Raess v. Doescher 883 N.E.2d 790 (Ind.


Parties: Plaintiff Daniel Raess, MD Challenging jury finding of assault and award of $325000. Defendant Joseph Doescher operating room perfusionist who was assaulted by P. Facts: P was angry at D about reports to hospital administration about the P s treatment of other perfusionists aggressively and rapidly advanced on D with clenched fists, piercing eye, beet red face, popping veins and screaming and searing at him. D was backed up against a wall and put his hands up believing that the P was going to hit him. Procedural Posture: P appeals trial courts $325000 jury verdict and claim for assault. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial. Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer. Issue: Was there sufficient evidence presented In order to support a claim for assault? Was the jury award of $325000 in compensatory damages excessive? Holding: The court affirmed the trial courts decision. The court found that there was sufficient evidence presented to show that P assaulted D. The court also found that the jury award of compensatory damages was not excessive. Legal Reasoning: Legal Reasoning Issue 1: The court held that there was sufficient evidence presented to show that an assault occurred and that P had the requisite intent to commit an assault and that D s reaction was reasonable. Legal Reasoning Issue 2:

The D testified that the assault adversely affected his quality of life in many ways including his career, ability to interact with his wife and family and people in general. D couldn t return to work because of lack of focus and confidence and his ability to make split second decisions. The court generally holds: If there is anything evidence in the record, which supports the amount of the award, even if it is variable or conflicting, the award will not be disturbed.

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