McCormack v. Rutland Hospital, 2013 VT 59.
Today’s case is an example of how not to get a disfavorable verdict set aside for juror bias. In 2005, Plaintiff went to the emergency room at the Hospital with appendicitis. Hospital’s doctor misdiagnosed Plaintiff. As a result his appendix ruptured, requiring emergency surgery, and Plaintiff suffered post-surgery complications.
Plaintiff tried to sue the pants off hospital and the doctor who misdiagnosed him. Hospital hired a prominent local firm, to defend. The case was eventually scheduled for a jury trial in December 2011.
Among the eager citizens awaiting their chance to take unpaid time off work to be given a number and herded like so much reasonable cattle into the voir dire and jury empaneling in October 2011 was one taciturn Juror R, a public relations coordinator for Central Vermont Public Service (“CVPS”). As we shall see, Juror R’s quietude, her occasional experience coordinating charitable food and blood drives for CVPS, and both Hospital’s and Hospital’s attorney’s tendency to give to charity, form the basis of this appeal.