Case Caption: V.I. Hospitals and Health Facilities Corporation, et al vs. Gumbs Case Number: SCT-CIV-2020-0025Date: 09/21/2023Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: 2023 VI 11Summary: The governmental defendants’ interlocutory appeal of an order by the Superior Court denying their motion for conduct of a bench trial in the disposition of this matter is dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction. In an action alleging medical malpractice under the Virgin Islands Tort Claims Act and the Virgin Islands Medical Malpractice Act, defendants filed a motion for a bench trial, arguing that Sections 3408 and 3413 of the Tort Claims Act – which require that trials of actions instituted under the Tort Claims Act be “by the Court sitting without a jury” – are jurisdictional prerequisites to the voluntary waiver of sovereign immunity by the Government of the Virgin Islands. The Superior Court ruled that the Medical Malpractice Act superseded the Tort Claims Act, and orally denied the government defendants’ motion from the bench on March 11, 2020. The governmental appealed and clarified that the appeal was filed pursuant to the collateral order doctrine. On plaintiff’s motion to dismiss for lack of appellate jurisdiction, it is held that the Superior Court’s order is not an immediately appealable collateral order because the question of whether the Government is entitled to a bench trial instead of a jury trial based on the Virgin Islands Tort Claims Act is effectively reviewable after the Superior Court enters a final order. Therefore this appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion