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Ocga A 91154 Judgments

(a)  Definition.  The term “judgment,” as used in this chapter, includes a decree and any order from which an appeal lies.

(b)  Judgment upon multiple claims or involving multiple parties.  When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or third-party claim, or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment.  In the absence of such determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.

(c)  Relief granted.

(1)  A judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment.  Except as to a party against whom a judgment is entered by default, every final judgment shall grant the relief to which the party in whose favor it is rendered is entitled, even if the party has not demanded such relief in his pleadings; but the court shall not give the successful party relief, though he may be entitled to it, where the propriety of the relief was not litigated and the opposing party had no opportunity to assert defenses to such relief.

(2)  As used in this subsection, the term “action for medical malpractice” means any claim for damages resulting from the death of or injury to any person arising out of:

(A)  Health, medical, dental, or surgical service, diagnosis, prescription, treatment, or care rendered by a person authorized by law to perform such services or by any person acting under the supervision and control of a lawfully authorized person; or

(B)  Care or service rendered by any public or private hospital, nursing home, clinic, hospital authority, facility, or institution, or by any officer, agent, or employee thereof acting within the scope of his employment.

(3)  Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection, where a claim in an action for medical malpractice does not exceed $10,000.00, a judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment.  Where the claim exceeds $10,000.00, a judgment by default may be rendered for the amount determined upon a trial of the issue of damages, provided notice of the trial is served upon the defaulting party at least three days prior to that trial.

(d)  Costs.  Except where express provision therefor is made in a statute, costs shall be allowed as a matter of course to the prevailing party unless the court otherwise directs; but costs against this state and its officers, agencies, and political subdivisions shall be imposed only to the extent permitted by the law.

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