Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Brant Phillips discussed the successful appeal to vacate an $18.8 million judgment on behalf of Medsurant. In addition to Brant, Medsurant was represented by Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Matt Sinback and Russell Stair in SpecialtyCare IOM Services LLC v. Medsurant Holdings LLC. Medsurant had appealed the $18.8 million jury verdict after being sued by SpecialtyCare IOM Services, a competing provider of neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring (IOM) services.

SpecialtyCare sued Medsurant in 2015 for allegedly intentionally interfering with its contracts and business relationships when Medsurant hired nine IOM technicians from a bankrupt company, ProNerve, that SpecialtyCare sought to hire. SpecialtyCare requested sanctions, including a default judgment, against Medsurant claiming the company did not respond to pre-trial discovery requests in a timely manner. After the trial court awarded SpecialtyCare one of the 10 largest punitive damages awards by a Tennessee jury in more than a decade, Medsurant appealed the verdict due to the entry of and refusal to set aside the default judgment under the circumstances of this case, among other errors.

Ultimately, the Court of Appeals sided with Medsurant stating their conduct did not warrant the imposition of a default judgment sanction. “This decision reaffirms that cases should be fairly decided on their merits, and that default judgments are appropriate in only the most extreme instances of misconduct, contempt or obstruction,” Brant said. “None of that was present in this case.” SpecialtyCare has until September 4 to appeal this decision.

Additional details about the case were discussed in separate articles: