Justices dismiss Davenport med-mal appeal for want of prosecution

David Yates Mar. 16, 2010, 8:15am


Following a defeat and a denied request for a new trial, plaintiff's attorney Valorie Davenport vowed she'd appeal the judge's ruling.

Davenport made good on her promise, filing an appeal last June. However, in the nine months since appealing, Davenport has failed to submit a single legal brief detailing the grounds of her appeal.

On Thursday, March 11, justices presiding over Texas' Ninth Court of Appeals threw out her case for want of prosecution.

"On Jan. 21, 2010, we notified the parties that the brief had not been filed and warned the (plaintiffs) that their failure to file a brief could result in a dismissal of the appeal for want of prosecution," the court's memorandum opinion states.

"On Feb. 9, 2010, we notified the parties that the appeal would be submitted to the Court without oral argument. In the absence of a brief assigning error for appellate review, we dismiss the appeal for want of prosecution."

Over the past year, the Southeast Texas Record has chronicled the actions of Davenport, who represents Stacy Thompson in a medical-malpractice case.

As the Record previously reported, Davenport originally lost her case on Jan. 30, 2009, when jurors found no wrongdoing on the part of Dr. James Woodruff and two other defendant doctors.

The trial centered on Thompson's claim that several doctors had negligently failed to timely diagnose and treat her breast cancer.

Several months later, Davenport petitioned Judge Donald Floyd for a new trial.

In her motion, she accused the Southeast Texas Record of jury tampering by writing negative stories about the trial, citing it as one of the reasons she lost the case.

Davenport went so far as to assert that those "negative stories" made her appear as a racist.

During a Jan. 14, 2009, hearing, Davenport told Judge Floyd, an African American, that the Record's coverage of the trial made her look as if she were "disrespecting" the judge.

Davenport said she believed that if the nine black jurors had read the stories in the Record they would punish her by ruling against her client unjustly.

Trial case No. E167-187
Appeals case No. 09-09-00247-CV

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