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Medical malpractice appeal granted due to 'bizarre' judge

It is not always the end of the story when an Ohio hospital or medical practice successfully defends itself against a medical malpractice lawsuit. Plaintiffs often appeal when the judge dismisses their claim or when a jury finds there was not enough evidence. Thus, medical professionals and their attorneys sometimes must go back to court to argue that the ruling or verdict was the right one.

To get a new trial, plaintiffs must show that there was some serious error during the original proceedings. Though judicial error occurs occasionally, it is rare that an appeal gets granted because of “bizarre and disturbing behavior” from the bench described in a recent story by WWL-TV.

The Louisiana Supreme recently granted a married couple a new trial over a 2010 operation the husband underwent. Though the jury sided with the surgeon after the 2013 trial, the plaintiffs appealed. They accused the judge who presided over the trial of unprofessional behavior that deprived them of a fair trial.

Among other things, the judge allegedly wandered around the courtroom during proceedings, sometimes sitting in the jury box and eating candy. When an expert witness for the defense came to testify, the judge hugged and shook hands with the expert.

By a 4-3 vote, the state Supreme Court justices ruled that the plaintiffs should get a new trial because of this behavior. The three dissenting justices said that the evidence is simply insufficient to support the plaintiffs’ claim, and that a new trial is unnecessary.

One way to reduce your risk of losing a medical malpractice case on appeal is to have an experienced and skilled attorney defending you.

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