Mistrial ruled after physician accused of malpractice treats juror in court

An Arkansas medical malpractice lawsuit ended in mistrial in federal court in Jonesboro when the doctor being sued treated an ill juror in the courtroom in front of other jurors. The juror, who was not named, became ill during opening statements of the lawsuit against Dr. Stephen Eichert. The nature of the illness also was not disclosed.

Eichert is being sued by Cristina Renee Chaffin for allegedly not performing proper tests before operating on Chaffin’s back and failing to tell Chaffin of the risk of surgery. Chaffin is asking for $75,000 for the costs of two surgeries and follow-up visits and lost wages plus an amount to be determined by a jury for pain, suffering, and mental and emotional anguish.

Chaffin’s attorney asked for the mistrial and Eichert’s attorney agreed.

This issue comes up more often than you would think. Any time a doctor can show off his treatment skills in court, that can tilt the balance in a close case in favor of the doctor, even if the treatment has nothing to do with what is at issue in the lawsuit. So it’s standard practice for the patient’s lawyer to ask to stop the trial if someone in the courtroom gets sick and the doctor defendant gives treatment.

Source: Insurance Journal

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