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C-section moms struck from med-mal case

This paper has reported on some high-dollar med-mal cases involving Caesarean sections, but an unpublished 4th Circuit case out of Roanoke offers a new twist.

Nickeshia M. Lawrence sued Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital for medical malpractice in failing to perform a Caesarean section when she was giving birth to her son.

After a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for Carilion. On appeal to the 4th Circuit, Lawrence argued the trial court erred when it rejected her Batson v. Kentucky challenge to Carilion’s peremptory strike of an African-American juror.

Not a problem, according to the 4th Circuit’s March 4 unpublished opinion. The defense also struck two white jurors who had undergone C-sections. A white juror who had had two C-sections stayed on the jury, but her procedures had occurred 20 years earlier. Because each side had only three peremptory strikes, it was “entirely reasonable that Carilion’s counsel chose to leave on the jury” a woman whose procedures had occurred so remotely, the panel wrote in its per curiam opinion.
By Deborah Elkins

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