- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man who fell on an icy sidewalk outside the Shenandoah hospital in 2010 is entitled to some compensation for the pain he suffered, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

Zachary Robinson received a jury award of more than $4,300 last year for his medical bills but nothing for pain and suffering. He appealed, claiming the jury verdict was inconsistent.

The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed.

“The jury determined that Shenandoah was partially at fault and a proximate cause of some damage to Robinson. In itemizing that damage, it awarded Robinson the full amount he requested for past medical expenses, but awarded nothing for his pain,” the court said. “This verdict is inconsistent because it identifies an injury and pain caused by the defendant, but fails to compensate the plaintiff for the pain stemming from the injury.”

The hospital argued the jury’s verdict was not inconsistent, suggesting that Robinson’s medical care a treatment were for preventive and diagnostic purposes and not necessarily for pain resulting from the fall.

The court concluded, however, that since jurors awarded Robinson money to pay for physical therapy designed to decrease pain, there was recognition that there was pain involved.

The case stems from a March 2, 2010, fall when Robinson, 23, slipped on the icy sidewalk and injured his back.

He sued the Shenandoah Medical Center, seeking more than $50,000 for medical bills and compensation for past and future pain and suffering, said his attorney Jon Johnson, of Sidney.

A jury found the hospital 51 percent at fault for the fall and Robinson 49 percent at fault. The jury awarded Robinson $4,368 for medical expenses but nothing for past and future pain.

Johnson sought a new trial but the district court judge denied the motion and the case was appealed.

The appeals court found the jury’s verdict inconsistent and ordered the case sent back to Page County district court for a new determination of damages that includes compensation for pain.

Johnson said a new jury trial will be held on the damages portion of the case to determine how much Robinson should be paid.

The hospital’s attorneys, Kerry Finley and Sam Jones of Cedar Rapids, said a decision has not been made whether a motion will be filed asking the Iowa Supreme Court to consider the case.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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