The importance of jury selection can sometimes be overlooked. However, make no mistake, jurors are the ultimate decision makers in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Maryland, before a trial begins, the judge decides the required number of jurors needed. Medical malpractice law in Maryland allows each party four peremptory challenges plus one peremptory challenge for each group of three or fewer alternates. A peremptory challenge is a lawyer’s objection to a proposed juror which may be made without needing to provide a reason. Many cases have been lost, or needed to be re-tried, as recently seen in Florida, due to attorney’s being unable to secure their preferred jurors.
A Florida medical malpractice lawsuit was filed against St. Mary’s Medical Center after a woman was placed in a permanent vegetative state after receiving care from the hospital. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital lacked the proper equipment when the woman was originally brought in for surgery due to brain hemorrhaging.
The hospital argued that the woman’s condition was severe when she arrived and that doctors warned at the time that there was a 50% chance she would die in surgery and an 80% chance she would be left in a vegetative state. The woman’s husband refuted the hospital’s argument and told the jury that the family was never given such a warning which was the reason that he agreed to the surgery. Further, the husband claimed that if the hospital had the proper equipment, it could have stopped the woman from losing so much blood during surgery. It was determined that the blood loss caused the woman’s permanent vegetative state.
Despite the strong arguments, one member of the 6-panel jury refused to join the five others who agreed to a multi-million-dollar verdict against the hospital. The holdout could not be swayed which caused a mistrial, meaning that outside of a settlement, it is almost certain that a new trial will come to fruition. A mistrial is not a win for either side. Both sides are forced back to square one which requires more money to be spent by clients as well as the state.
Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by the neglect of a medical professional, our team will work to get you the full compensation you deserve. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.