The Appellate Group

Vanlaningham v. Hart

Vanlaningham v. Hart, 2021 UT App 95 (Pohlman, J.)

Medical Malpractice

Plaintiff sued her dentist, the defendant, after he failed to discover cavities in her mouth. Defendant moved to exclude evidence of plaintiff’s special damages after she failed to comply with the requirements of rule 26(a)(1)(C), because she failed to provide a computation of her special damages. The district court granted the motion. On appeal, The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • Under rule 26, a plaintiff must compute her special damages claim by disclosing how she arrived at the sum she presented to the court. Here, the plaintiff claimed she suffered $130,000 in special damages for “past and future dental work.” But she did not explain what that included or how she arrived at that sum. The district court did not, therefore, err in granting Defendant’s motion to exclude, and plaintiff has not demonstrated good cause or that her error was harmless to Defendant.

Read the full court opinion