Ronald Watkins, et al. v. Manuel Casiano, et al.


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Motion disposition in opinion--granting Motion to submit on the briefs (Local Rule 34(e)) [998310119-2]. Originating case number: 1:07-cv-02419-CCB. Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [998534654] [09-2008]

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Ronald Watkins, et al. v. Manuel Casiano, et al. Doc. 0 Case: 09-2008 Document: 60 Date Filed: 03/01/2011 Page: 1 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-2008 RONALD WATKINS, Individually; BRENDA WATKINS, Individually, Plaintiffs - Appellants, v. MANUEL CASIANO, MD; FORIS SURGICAL GROUP, LLP, Defendants Appellees, and FREDERICK MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, INCORPORATED, Party-in-Interest. Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Catherine C. Blake, District Judge. (1:07-cv-02419-CCB) Submitted: December 30, 2010 Decided: March 1, 2011 Before SHEDD, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Julia A. Lodowski, Emily C. Malarkey, SALSBURY, CLEMENTS, BEKMAN, MARDER & ADKINS, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellants. Frederick W. Goundry, III, VARNER & GOUNDRY, Frederick, Maryland, for Appellees. Case: 09-2008 Document: 60 Date Filed: 03/01/2011 Page: 2 Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 Case: 09-2008 Document: 60 Date Filed: 03/01/2011 Page: 3 PER CURIAM: Ronald and Brenda Watkins appeal the district court's order denying their Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(a) motion for a new trial, after a jury verdict for the defendants in a medical malpractice action. On appeal, the Watkinses seek a new trial, They claiming unfair surprise deprived them of a fair trial. contend that Dr. Manuel Casiano's statement on the first day of trial and his subsequent testimony that he used a different surgical stapler than that referenced in the operative notes presented a new theory of defense. We Watkinses' review for the new district trial for court's an abuse denial of of the motion discretion. Nichols v. Ashland Hosp. Corp., 251 F.3d 496, 500 (4th Cir. 2001). A district court should grant a new trial if "(1) the verdict is against the clear weight of the evidence, or (2) is based upon evidence which is false, or (3) will result in a miscarriage of justice, even though there may be substantial evidence Knussman which v. would prevent 272 the direction 625, 639 of (4th a verdict." 2001) Maryland, F.3d Cir. (internal citation omitted). Rule 59 allows for a new trial in the event of unfair surprise, but surprise warrants a new trial only if "it deprives the party of a fair hearing." Norton Co., 894 F.2d 672, 675 (4th Cir. 1990). show reasonably genuine surprise, 3 which Twigg v. "The movant must necessarily was Case: 09-2008 Document: 60 Date Filed: 03/01/2011 Page: 4 inconsistent with substantial justice and which resulted in actual prejudice." omitted). We Id. (internal quotation marks and citations carefully reviewed the briefs and the have extensive record in this case and conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the Watkinses' motion for a new trial. Accordingly, we affirm. We grant Appellees' motion to submit on briefs and dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal before contentions the court are and adequately argument presented not in aid the the materials would decisional process. AFFIRMED 4

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