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Moses v. Drake

Supreme Court of Delaware

January 27, 2015

TRICIA MOSES, Plaintiff-below, Appellant,
v.
AARON DRAKE, Defendant-below, Appellee

Submitted: January 14, 2015.

Case Closed February 12, 2015.

Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Kent County. C.A. No. K13C-04-010 WLW.

William D. Fletcher, Jr., Esquire (argued), Schmittinger & Rodriguez, P.A., Dover, Delaware, for Appellant.

Arthur D. Kuhl, Esquire (argued), Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP, Wilmington, Delaware, for Appellee.

Before STRINE, Chief Justice, RIDGELY and VALIHURA, Justices.

OPINION

Page 563

VALIHURA, Justice:

Plaintiff-below/Appellant Tricia Moses (" Moses" ) raises two arguments on appeal. First, she argues that the January 15, 2014, medical opinion of her treating physician, Dr. Stephen Ogden (" Dr. Ogden" ), was sufficient to deny Defendant-below/Appellee Aaron Drake's (" Drake" ) motion for summary judgment on the claim that the medical opinion was legally deficient. Second, she argues, in the alternative, that the denial of her motion to reargue was improper given Dr. Ogden's " clarifications" of his opinion on April 25, and May 14, 2014. We disagree and affirm the decisions below.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On April 6, 2011, Moses and Drake were involved in a rear-end motor vehicle collision where Drake's vehicle struck Moses' vehicle. Drake pled guilty to a citation for following a motor vehicle too closely. At the time of the incident, Moses was 26 weeks pregnant. Due to her past medical history, Moses was in a program for high-risk pregnancies. After the motor vehicle collision between Moses and Drake, Moses delivered her child prematurely at 31 weeks. While Moses' complaint contained allegations of trauma-induced premature birth and trauma-induced mental and physical difficulties relating to the child, Moses did not oppose dismissal of all

Page 564

claims pertaining to the child in the proceedings below. Accordingly, Moses does not contend on appeal that the complications of her pregnancy or the premature birth of her child were proximately caused by the motor vehicle collision.

Due to the severe nature of the claimed injuries in Moses' complaint, it appeared initially that Drake may require multiple experts to address the various claims. Drake's counsel requested at least six months to ...


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