In a recent blog post, I explored the application of the final judgment rule to appeals from preliminary injunction orders in state court. As I noted, the Law Court has recently applied the “death knell” exception to that rule to hear an interlocutory appeal regarding a preliminary injunction. In two other recent cases, the Law Court has taken up and considered the “judicial economy” exception to the final judgment rule. These cases help delineate the scope of that exception.
The first case is Cutting v. Down East Orthopedic Associates, P.A. In that case, a plaintiff brought separate cases in federal court asserting a discrimination claim and a medical malpractice claim against a physician. The district court granted summary judgment against the plaintiff in the discrimination case, and dismissed the second case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff then filed a malpractice claim in state court, which the defendant moved to dismiss on claim preclusion grounds. The Superior