X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A D.C. Court of Appeals decision last week could undermine a 62-year-old District precedent that trial judges are not required to modify requested jury instructions that are erroneous or misleading. The 2-1 decision ordered a new trial in a medical malpractice case and prompted a vigorous dissent from Judge Noel Anketell Kramer to “the majority’s sweeping statements with respect to the obligations of trial judges with respect to jury instructions.” Sardul Pannu, a former chemistry professor at the University of the District of Columbia, and his wife sued Dr. Jeff Jacobson, the Neurological Surgery Group, and the Washington Brain and Spine Institute after back surgery by Jacobson in 2000 left Pannu with permanent nerve damage that causes incontinence. A jury ruled in favor of the defendants, but the appellate decision by Judge Inez Smith Reid and Senior Judge Theodore Newman Jr. found “an abuse of discretion” by D.C. Superior Court Judge Melvin Wright and reversed the judgment. Wright should have modified a misleading jury-instruction request from the plaintiffs related to the law of negligence in a medical malpractice case involving neurosurgery, the decision stated. The majority even crafted a specific jury instruction to be used on retrial. In her dissent, Kramer found no error by Wright and stated the majority’s proposed jury instruction was unnecessary and without precedent “for any professional negligence case in this jurisdiction.”
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.