Civil Jury Decision-making

The question before us is not whether jury trial is an ancient institution, which it is; nor whether it plays a role in the administration of justice, which it does; nor whether it will endure, which it shall…”- Justice Harlan The jury is the heart of the American Criminal Justice system. Roughly 80% of all juries exist in the United States. Some of you may have had the opportunity to serve on a jury, others of you have not. It is your opportunity to participate in the justice system. The jury was established in the 6th Amendment-

You will read a trial summary and decide if negligence occurred and if so, the damage amounts. Initial post: You will only read one trial summary. Which trial summary you read depends on your PSU ID number. If your PSU ID ends with an odd number, you will read Case A. If your PSU ID ends with an even number, you will read Case B. Answer the following questions in your original post: 1. Post which case you read (“A” or “B”). 2. Do you find the defendant at fault? 3. What amount do you award in compensatory damages? What amount do you award in punitive damages? 4. How did you settle on these amounts? “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed…”

CASE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE TRIAL STIMULUS Based on Hallmark v. Shipman (2008) Case summary: On January 11, 2008, the plaintiffs husband, Mark Francis, felt very ill after eating breakfast. Two days later, Mr. Francis went to the hospital believing that he had all the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, including severe chest pain. While at the hospital, Mr. Francis complained of signs and symptoms that should have led the hospital staff and Doctor Basil Jones to consider a life-threatening heart condition — nausea, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Mr. Francis complained that his pain was a 9 out of 10. While at the hospital, Mr. Francis underwent no exams to determine if the cause of his pain was, in fact, a heart attack. Instead, after about 4-5 hours in the emergency room, Dr. Jones released Mr. Francis from the hospital. Again, no blood tests were done to determine a heart condition. No scans or other chest exams ordered. On January 15th, Mr. Francis fell back, clutching his chest and instructed his wife to call 911. He was unable to be revived when he got to the hospital. His cause of death was a heart attack. In trial, the plaintiff called two separate experts to testify. These experts testified that had proper procedures been followed, Mr. Francis may still be alive today. The doctors also testified that there were several indicators that Mr. Francis was having a severe cardiac condition. The patient was complaining of severe chest pain, and the patient’s pulse was at 164 beats per minute. The normal heart rate for a human Mr. Francis’s age is 60-100 beats per minute. Another expert, the pathologist that preformed the autopsy on Mr. Francis, stated that had the condition been discovered at the hospital Mr. Francis would have had roughly a 90% chance of recovery. Mr. Francis was 40 years old is survived by his wife of 22 years and his ten-year-old child. The plaintiff in this case is asking for monetary damages. $120,000 for medical bills. $10,000 for funeral expenses. $87 34,800 times the 25 years he has left to work until the age of 65). Monetary damages are also being sought for Mrs. Francis and her children’s pain and suffering, and loss of consortium and companionship.




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