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Tuesday, February 20th 2007

Jaba, I Mean Charlie, Gets A Mistrial

A juror in Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis’ medical malpractice suit collapsed and was aided by the defendants (h/t The Irish Trojan),

The juror, an older man, began moaning as he listened to an expert testifying in defense of Massachusetts General Hospital surgeons Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin. Weis claims they botched his care after gastric bypass surgery in June 2002.

The judge immediately ordered the other jurors out of the courtroom, but some saw Ferguson, Hodin and other doctors who were in the courtroom rush to the collapsed juror’s aid.

The defendants were obviously ready to happily carry on, with that “doctor to the rescue” image burned into the other juror’s minds.

[Judge] Spurlock consulted with both sets of lawyers and spoke individually to jurors after the juror fell ill. One said he did not know if he could put the incident out of his mind in his deliberations.

“The fact that the doctors helped this juror and that the fact the other jurors saw them do that is something that would have to be in their minds,” Mone said outside the courtroom.

But William Dailey Jr., the lawyer for the doctors, said in court he wanted the trial to go on, saying a mistrial “would be terribly unfair to these doctors.”

One of the biggest comments you hear from organized medicine is that proponents of the current tort system and med mal in general underestimate the costs of the entire deal, since the proceedings take physicians away from their practice. Unfortunately for Weis’ two surgeons,

“The integrity of the court is more important than schedules,” Spurlock said.

Previous posts on Charlie’s malpractice suit here and here.