Jury finds for doctor a second time in retrial of '03 med mal case

Amelia Flood Aug. 3, 2010, 7:28am



A Madison County jury has found for a Collinsville family practice doctor for the second time, after a retrial of a seven-year old medical malpractice suit.

Jurors deliberated for just over two hours Monday before finding for defendants Dr. Patrick Zimmerman and his medical practice.

It is the second time a jury has found for Zimmerman and against plaintiff Douglas Storm, the husband of Maria Storm, who died in 2005 at the age of 36 from malignant melanoma.

Storm's suit claimed that Zimmerman failed to send a mole he removed from Maria Storm's back for testing in 1999 and failed to diagnose the cancer.

The suit sought more than $200,000 in damages.

Maria Storm first had the mole on her back removed by another doctor in 1998.

After it returned, she had it removed by Zimmerman a year later.
She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2003, dying from the disease two years later.

The suit was originally tried in January 2007, and a jury also found for Zimmerman after more than two weeks of trial.

That verdict was thrown out by the appellate court last year after it came to light that a juror lied during voir dire during the 2007 trial about his role in two pending Madison County law suits.

The appellate court ordered a new trial.

It opened July 20 with jury selection.

The retrial featured dueling experts as well as verbal dueling between plaintiff's attorney Rex Carr and defense counsel Ted Dennis.

Carr also sparred at several points with defense expert witnesses including Dr. Jerry Kruse of Quincy and Dr. Kelly McMasters of Louisville, Ky.

The plaintiff's case featured the video deposition of Maria Storm, her husband's live testimony and depositions and testimony from oncologists and others.

One day of testimony got off to a late start due to two juror snafus.

A male juror had to be dismissed from the case for unspecified reasons.

On the same morning, a female juror failed to show up at court. A phone call to her found that she had overslept.

That day's start was delayed more than an hour.

Jurors heard closing arguments Monday morning.

The jury began deliberating at 2:15 p.m. and returned its verdict at 4:50 p.m.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder presided over both trials.

The case is Madison case number 03-L-899.

More News