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Ken (left) and Caleb Connor, The Connor Firm, Aiken, South Carolina. (Courtesy photo) Ken (left) and Caleb Connor, The Connor Firm, Aiken, South Carolina. (Courtesy photo)

After hearing arguments as to whether plaintiffs lawyers improperly used racial considerations in keeping a white juror off of a panel that ultimately awarded more than $1.5 million in damages in a nursing home fatality case, the justices of the Georgia Supreme Court decided they didn’t want to rule on it after all and dismissed the appeal.

The justices heard Zoom arguments in October; on Monday, they decided the appeal had been “improvidently granted” and dismissed it. One jurist, Justice Michael Boggs, dissented from the decision; Justice Carla Wong McMillian was disqualified.

The high court let stand rulings by a trial judge and the Court of Appeals that the dismissal of a white panelist—which a plaintiffs lawyer said was in part because the man came from a section of Lowndes County that “may not be an area that is friendly to African Americans”—did not run afoul of case law barring the removal of jurors for race-based reasons.

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Greg Land

Greg Land covers topics including verdicts and settlements and insurance-related litigation for the Daily Report in Atlanta.

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