Doctor treating fainting juror is reason for a mistrial

Posted on Feb 06, 2014

No. 13-0257  [3-1056] 



               Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Douglas F. Staskal, Judge.  Heard by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Doyle, P.J.  (15 pages)  

               The plaintiffs appeal denial of their motions for mistrial and new trial after one of the defendant doctors in a medical malpractice suit rendered aid to a juror who fainted during trial.  OPINION HOLDS: Based upon the unusual event observed by the jury, we believe the integrity of the jury was compromised because of the inherent prejudice resulting from the incident.  We therefore conclude that a mistrial should have been granted, and it should have been granted when first requested by the plaintiffs.  Consequently, we reverse the trial court and remand for a new trial as to both doctors.  Even though we reverse the trial court, we are not critical of anyone involved.  All involved reacted admirably.  This was clearly an event that could not have been planned for or guarded against. 

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Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death