You are on page 1of 4
COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY WARREN CIRCUIT COURT CASE NO. 18-Cl-00890 RAND PAUL. PLAINTIFF vs RENEE A. BOUCHER DEFENDANT FINAL ORDER AWARDING COSTS AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS FOR JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING THE VERDICT AND TO FILE A THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT ‘The Court heard the following motions on March 20, 2019 and now makes rulings as indicated below. Plaintiffs motion for costs was not opposed and is granted and it is ordered that, costs are awarded to Plaintiff in the amount of $984.20. Mr. Renee Boucher filed a Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict; Motion For New Trial and Motion to Vacate/Alter/Amend Judgment. Having heard argument of counsel and, being fully and sufficiently advised, itis ordered that these motions are denied, and the Judgment entered on February 8, 2019 is the final judgment of this Court. ‘The Defendant makes 8 arguments in support of his motion for JNOV. Items 2 through 8 are without merit. Specifically, the Court finds that the award for pain and suffering and for punitive damages was not excessive given the undisputed facts involving an outrageous course of conduct culminating in an intentional and unprovoked physical assault by Mr. Boucher against Mr, Paul, and considering the seriousness of the injury inflicted. Taking the facts recited by Mr. Boucher at trial as true, but editing out his subjective conclusions from those facts, there is no evidence from which a reasonable person could logically conclude Mr. Paul knew of Mr. Boucher’s concems or that he acted in any way with an intent to provoke Mr Boucher. The conclusions drawn by Mr. Boucher concerning Mr. Paul’s intention towards him can only be based upon delusion. ‘The Court is aware the analysis of whether an award of punitive damages is excessive is often made considering the ratio of the amount of medical expenses to the award. This analysis assumes the medical expenses are in proportion to the seriousness of the injury. In this case the medical expenses are not fully indicative of the seriousness of the injury. ‘The Plaintiff is a physician himself and had friends who were physicians which allowed him to avoid some treatment and expense otherwise necessary. For example, the Plaintiff avoided the ambulance trip to an emergency room and possible overnight stay at the hospital because he was able to see a doctor directly and immediately. His knowledge of the realities of this injury allowed him to avoid medical consultation that would have been necessary for one lacking that knowledge. The injuries were serious, involving six broken ribs, three of which were separated with the broken ends of the bones overlapping themselves. Considering all circumstances, the award is not excessive, Defendants first argument for NOV raises a more difficult question. It is based on Plaintiff's failure to sign the response to interrogatories concerning the amount claimed for pain and suffering and punitive damages. Defendant filed a motion to compel answers to interrogatories in November of 2019, An order was entered requiring the answers to be provided. On January 7, 2019 counsel for Plaintiff filed answers, unverified by Plaintiff, stating that damages for pain and suffering would be requested in the amount of $500,000.00 and that punitive damages would be requested in the amount of $1,000,000.00. The Defendant did not object to the lack of verification until after the evidence was closed at trial Mr. Boucher's counsel could not state specific prejudice suffered by Mr. Boucher from the lack of verification and the Court finds no prejudice. ‘The purpose of the rule was met. Mr. Paul would not have been permitted to claim at trial amounts more than that claimed in his unverified answers. Still, the rule requiring signatures on answers to interrogatories is clear and the Plaintiff did not comply with it. Under these specific circumstances, justice does not require the Court to set aside portions of the verdict. Mr. Boucher argues the law requires it, citing Fratzke v. Murphy, 12 S.W.3d 269 (Ky. 1999). The Court finds Fratzke distinguishable because, in that case, the Plaintiff never stated any amounts claimed for unliquidated damages. In this case, the Defendant was informed of the amount claimed. ‘This Court has not been presented controlling authority that would require the harsh result of setting aside an otherwise fair verdict. Mr. Boucher also moved to file a third-party complaint against USA, provider of his homeowner's insurance. While the Court has discretion to grant the motion, itis denied. This is primarily because this judge is serving as a special judge. The litigation between Mr. Boucher and USAA has little direct relationship to the litigation between Mr. Boucher and Mr. Paul. Although the regular judges of Warren County had grounds