Brief Fact Summary.
The Government attempts to raise an affirmative defense post-trial after the judgements are entered in two cases where it was sued for medical malpractice.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
Under FRCP 8(c) if affirmative defenses are not pleaded in a timely manner, they are waived.
A party may file a rule 60(b) motion at any time within one year after judgment, even if an appeal is pending, and the denial of that motion is appealable separately from the underlying judgment.View Full Point of Law
Plaintiff Ingraham receives spinal damage from an Air Force surgeon, brings suit and is awarded damages in the amount of $1,264,000. Plaintiff Jocelyn Bonds was the patient of a botched cesarean section that caused her daughter, Plaintiff Stephanie, to have brain damage. Plaintiffs Jocelyn and Stephanie are also awarded damages in the amount of $750,000 and $3,490,555.60 respectively. The causes of action of both Plaintiffs arose after the enactment of the Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act of Texas (Malpractice Act) which capped medical malpractice damages at $500,000. The Government however did not try to raise this affirmative defense until after the damages were awarded in both cases.
Does an affirmative defense have to be pleaded before judgement is entered?
Yes, if an affirmative defense is not pleaded in a timely manner it is waived and the defendant may not challenge liability based on that defense. Holding of the lower court if affirmed.