Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Has The Jury Reached A Verdict?

I called the Jury Coordinator this morning to learn the decision of the trial I had heard.

As I wrote previously, it was a medical malpractice case.  The plaintiff, then a 65-year old man, had a surgical procedure back in 2001 to address chronic back problems.  During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon was using a rasp to file down bone in the spine when he accidently nicked the iliac vein.  The vascular doctor on the surgical team who had "made the exposure" for the ortho doctor to operate in, stepped in to repair the injury.  During the course of the repair, the patient bled out more blood than our body can hold.  Afterwards, the back surgery resumed and was completed.  Before leaving the hospital, both the ortho doctor and vascular doctor concurred the patient was stable and that good circulation was evident in the patient's lower extremities.  Later that evening, an on-duty nurse and the patient's daughter-in-law both found conditions suggesting a thrombosis (clot) had formed, preventing good circulation in the left leg.  The two surgeons were called back in.  Without going into all the details (which I could likely construct after hearing them so many times), the issue at hand was whether or not the vascular surgeon met the Standard of Care in responding to this emergency once he was notified.  I should say the patient had other medical conditions which complicated his care, recovery and rehabilitation.  The sad and tragic outcome was that an above-the-knee amputation was ultimately required to save the man's life.  Unable to use a prosthesis, he is now confined to a wheelchair.  

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?

We have, your honor.

What say you?

In the matter of N vs. N, we find in favor of the defendant.

I think I am okay with their decision.  I had been excused as one of the two alternate jurors after having heard the entire case.  I did not participate in their deliberations, nor did I get to see the evidence "up close and personal" in my own hands.  I believe it was a hard decision that "the seven" finally reached.  While circumstances and outcomes make it feel very unfair, I believe the verdict was the correct one.