Jury Finds for University Hospital in Birth Injury Case-Jury Tampering Raised

This was a birth injury case in which the jurors were asked to award up to $7.5 million for a life care plan for the baby girl, Jill Todd, as well as $1.4 million in lost wages and an unspecified amount of damages for pain and suffering. The issue in this case was whether the University of Iowa’s Health Center physicians and staff provided proper care to Jill Todd in November 2010.  After two days of deliberation, the jury returned a 9-1 verdict finding that the University of Iowa Health Center was negligent but that negligence wasn’t “a cause of damage” to the child. This was an odd verdict or at least one that most would consider inconsistent.

Investigators confirmed that they were looking into an unusual claim of jury tampering in this medical malpractice, birth injury case involving the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. As a result of the jury’s unusual verdict, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics paid nothing for the injured child.

After a 3-week trial, the jury found that the hospital was negligent in caring for a mother who suffered complications before giving birth in 2010. But the jurors found that negligence was not a cause of damage to the child. The baby suffered brain damage and is severely disabled. The jury awarded no compensation to the family.

Days after jurors returned the verdict, the court received a letter that made allegations of jury tampering. The next day, the attorney for the parents of the girl filed a motion for a new trial. Jury tampering is a crime of attempting to persuade jurors’ deliberations and verdicts through improper means such as bribes, threats and other interference.

The district court judge has kept the details of the allegations of the tampering secret.  he judge also ordered the parties and their attorneys not to have any contact with the ten jurors and alternates and not to mention in public filings “any details concerning the correspondence referenced herein.”

The judge said he would not rule on the request for a new trial until the investigation into jury tampering is completed. Most experts who have commented on this case have said that allegations of jury tampering in a civil case are very rare. It remains to be seen whether the terrible harm suffered by this child will be reconsidered at a new trial.

Todd v. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical malpractice cases, hospital negligence cases, birth trauma cases and physician negligence cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Lake County, Kendall County and its surrounding areas, including Tinley Park, Schiller Park, Naperville, Grayslake, Gurnee, Elmwood Park, Country Club Hills, Elk Grove Village, River Forest, Park Forest, Oak Lawn and Wilmette, Ill.

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