Friday, November 25, 2011

Second Trial in Civil Sex Abuse Case Because of Juror Misconduct

A Shoreline pediatrician will have a second trial in a civil case brought by young men who allege he engaged in improper sexual conduct with them when they were minors. The doctor admits to much of the conduct but says it was a legitimate part of his mentoring the boys.

Originally there were thee cases filed by four young men and their families. The cases were consolidated. The jury ordered the doctor to pay damages to three young men and their families, but the sum was much lower than the plaintiffs had sought. Now two of the plaintiffs have withdrawn from the suit.

The retrial follows juror misconduct in the first trial:

  • a juror failed to disclose that she and her husband had been sued for medical malpractice;
  • a juror told other jurors about her experience of sexual abuse but had not disclosed it during voir dire;
  • jurors shared newspaper stories and watched television news about the case.
Noted Pediatrician Accused of Preying on Patients Faces Jury ‐ Again, Seattle PI, Nov. 22, 2011.

The Court of Appeals opinion upholding the trial court's declaration of a mistrial is Kuhn v. Schnall, 155 Wn. App. 560 (2010) link.

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