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Howard v. Replogle

Supreme Court of Montana

October 15, 2019

KATHY HOWARD, Plaintiff and Appellant, and Cross-Appellee,
v.
ROBERT EDWARD REPLOGLE, M.D., Defendant, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant.

          Submitted on Briefs: August 28, 2019

          District Court of the Thirteenth Judicial District, In and For the County of Yellowstone, Cause No. DV 13-0244 Honorable Gregory R. Todd, Presiding Judge

         For Appellant:

          James G. Edmiston, Tanis M. Holm, Edmiston & Colton, Billings, Montana

          Steven J. Harman, Steve Harman Law, PLLC, Billings, Montana

         For Appellee:

          Gary Kalkstein, Travis Dye, Kalkstein & Dye, P.C., Missoula, Montana

          OPINION

          Ingrid Gustafson, Justice.

         ¶1 Plaintiff, Appellant, and Cross-Appellee Kathy Howard (Howard) appeals the Order Denying Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law/Motion for New Trial issued by the Thirteenth Judicial District Court, Yellowstone County, on January 17, 2019. Defendant, Appellee, and Cross-Appellant Robert Edward Replogle, M.D. (Dr. Replogle) cross-appeals the District Court's October 25, 2018 Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Exclude Plaintiff's Damages for Future Medical Expenses and Loss of Ability to Enjoy Life.

         ¶2 We affirm, addressing the following dispositive issues:

1. Did the District Court err by denying Howard's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law?
2. Did the District Court err by denying Howard's Motion for New Trial?

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         ¶3 In approximately 2000, Howard was injured in a car accident. A short time later, she slipped and fell down a set of stairs. After dealing with back pain from these incidents for years, Howard was referred to Dr. Replogle in 2008. Dr. Replogle is a board-certified neurosurgeon and a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), who was practicing in Billings at the time of Howard's referral. In late 2008, Dr. Replogle performed a decompression procedure on Howard's spine, but Howard did not find relief. After the decompression procedure was not as effective as hoped, Dr. ...


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