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Sunday, April 20, 2014

$346K in unpaid wrongful death, medical malpractice judgments

In addition to unpaid land compensations, the CNMI government also has yet to pay a total of $346,056.50 in court judgments for wrongful deaths and medical malpractice, Rep. Mario Taitano (Ind-Saipan) said.

These include six separate judgments from 2008 to 2013 that the CNMI government has yet to pay, ranging from $10,000 to $201,056.50.

Taitano is proposing to require 15 percent of lapsed funds for each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2014 to be reserved for the payment of wrongful death and medical malpractice judgments in the CNMI.

He said in many cases, individuals affected by medical malpractice also do not live to see the final outcome of their lawsuits.

Taitano, chairman of the House Special Committee on Retirement Issues, said it is the CNMI government’s obligation to pay for judgments so that cases of wrongful deaths and medical malpractice could be satisfied.

On May 12, 2008, the court entered a $50,000 judgment in favor of Cheryl Indalecio against the CNMI in Civil Action 03-0514, for the wrongful death of her son.

“The judgment has never been paid,” Taitano said in his House Bill 18-150, co-authored by four other House members.

On April 2, 2009, a judgment was entered in favor of Eric and Tanya David against the CNMI, in Civil Action 05-0445, amounting to $201,056.50, for medical malpractice.

This year, on July 19, a $35,000 judgment was entered in favor of Jotonia B. Aguon, Timothy Cruz, and Timothy Cruz as personal representative of Baby Cruz, against the CNMI in Civil Action 12-0263. That was for the wrongful death of their son.

On the same day, a $15,000 judgment was entered in favor of Miguel Magofna Camacho and his family against the CNMI in Civil Action 10-0236. That was for medical malpractice.

On July 30 this year, a $10,000 judgment was entered in favor of Gorjonny Camacho against the CNMI in Civil Action 12-0284, because of medical malpractice.

Lastly, on Aug. 2, 2013, the court entered a $35,000 judgment in favor of Susan T. Haleyalgiy, as personal representative of Jackary Jay Taimanao San Nicolas, against the CNMI in Civil Action 12-0108. That was for the wrongful death of her son.

All these judgments have never been paid, Taitano said.

“The listed judgments above are final judgments by ruling of the Commonwealth court system. The Legislature finds that when a judgment is entered against the Commonwealth and is final and un-appealable, that it is proper and correct, and in the best interest of all its citizens, for the Commonwealth, to pay the judgment promptly,” Taitano said in his bill, now under committee review.

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