Articles Posted in Jury Selection

This was a case involving claims of birth injury and medical negligence-wrongful death. Plaintiffs Abraham J. Eoff and Crystal M. Eoff, on behalf of Sophee R. Eoff, deceased, appealed the trial court’s judgment entered in favor of the defendant, Jennifer K. McDonald, D.O. and Seasons Healthcare for Women, P.C., following a jury trial. The Eoffs claimed that the trial court erred by denying them the right to ask “the insurance question.”

The Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial.

“Appellants brought claims for medical negligence against Respondent based on allegations that Respondent Dr. McDonald caused the decedent’s death in which he used a vacuum extractor improperly during labor and delivery of Crystal Eoff. Appellants learned that Respondents maintained a medical malpractice liability policy with Missouri Doctors Mutual Insurance Company (MDMIC) . . .”
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Abbott Laboratories Inc. appealed the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis’s judgment on the jury’s verdict in the total amount of $38 million to Maddison Schmidt for her personal injury lawsuit. Of that total amount, $15 million was for compensatory damages; $23 million was for punitive damages.

Abbott argued that the Circuit Court erred in overruling its pretrial motion to transfer venue from the City of St. Louis Circuit Court to the St. Louis County Circuit Court, which are two different courts. St. Louis City operates a separate court system as it is not a municipal entity that is part of the surrounding St. Louis County, which runs its own court system.

Schmidt was born with spina bifida and other birth defects. She resides in Minnesota. Her mother injected Depakote, an anti-epileptic drug, manufactured and marketed by Abbott Laboratories, while Schmidt was in utero. Her mother ingested the Depakote in Minnesota. Abbott’s company headquarters are located in suburban Chicago. Despite the lack of connection with Missouri, Schmidt joined with four Missouri plaintiffs and nineteen other non-Missouri plaintiffs to file a single action against Abbott Laboratories in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis.
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