ELIZABETH ANN WILLIAMSON, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF CYNTHIA FRAZIER APPELLANT
BAPTIST HEALTH MEDICAL CENTER APPELLEE
FROM THE PULASKI COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 60CV-2012-930]
HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER PALMER, JUDGE
Appellate Solutions, PLC, by: Deborah Truby Riordan; Law
Offices of Eric D. Wewers, PLLC, by: Eric D. Wewers; and
Rochelle & McCullough, LLP, by: Greg Bevel and Kathryn
Reid, pro hac vice, for appellant.
Munson, Rowlett, Moore & Boone, P.A., by: Bruce Munson,
Jane M. Yocum, and Ashleigh Phillips, for appellees.
JOSEPHINE LINKER HART, Justice
Ann Williamson, administrator of the estate of Cynthia
Frazier, appeals from a judgment entered and from the denial
of a new-trial motion in a wrongful-death suit against
Baptist Medical Center (Baptist). On appeal, she argues that
the jury award omitted loss-of-life damages, rendering the
award inadequate and contrary to the preponderance of the
evidence. She also argues that the circuit court abused its
discretion by substituting its verdict for that of the jury,
and that the judgment entered grants Baptist an
"unconscionable quadruple reduction in liability."
In her supplemental argument, Williamson asserts that she did
not waive the issue of the circuit court's
misinterpretation of the verdict and, alternatively, the
judgment on its face is not a final order. Baptist
cross-appeals, contingent on this court ordering a new trial.
It argues that the circuit court erred in giving certain jury
instructions and in making some evidentiary rulings. We
dismiss this appeal for lack of a final order.
jurisdiction is pursuant to Arkansas Supreme Court Rule
1-2(e) (2016), as we granted a petition for review filed by
Williamson after the Arkansas Court of Appeals affirmed.
Williamson v. Baptist Health Med. Ctr., 2016
Ark.App. 78. When we grant a petition for review, we consider
the appeal as though it had been originally filed in this
court. Lagios v. Goldman, 2016 Ark. 59, 483 S.W.3d
Frazier was fatally injured when she was struck by a car
driven by fellow Baptist employee Cassandra Johnson as she
walked from an employee parking lot across Emergency Drive on
the Baptist campus. Frazier's estate sued Baptist for
wrongful death. At the request of Baptist, the case was
submitted to the jury on interrogatories. Interrogatory No. 5
contained the following language, "State the amount of
damages, if any, which you find from the preponderance of the
evidence was sustained by the Plaintiff in this case."
The jury returned the following findings:
$72, 400.00 awarded to the Estate of Cynthia Frazier
$250, 000.00 awarded to Elizabeth Williamson
$250, 000.00 awarded to Emily Blohm
$250, 000.00 awarded to Katherine Frazier
jury was also instructed to determine the percentage of fault
to be apportioned between Baptist, Johnson, and Frazier. It
fixed the percentages at 20 percent, 62 percent, 18 percent,
we consider the arguments on appeal, we must first determine
whether this court has jurisdiction to consider the merits.
Denney v. Denney, 2015 Ark. 257, 464 S.W.3d 920.
With the exception of certain interlocutory appeals listed in
Rule 2 of the Arkansas Rules of Appellate Procedure-Civil,
this court's appellate jurisdiction in civil matters is
limited to final orders or judgments. Ark. R. App. P.-Civ.
2(a)(1). We have said that the requirement of a final
judgment is the "cornerstone of appellate
jurisdiction." Ark. State Claims Comm'n v. Duit