Med-mal retrial gets under way Tuesday with jury selection

By Amelia Flood | Jul 21, 2010


The re-trial of a seven year-old wrongful death suit got under way Tuesday with jury selection.

The opening marks the second time Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder will oversee the trial of a suit brought by the husband of a woman who died from allegedly misdiagnosed skin cancer.

Crowder oversaw the suit's first trial in 2007. At that time, a jury found for defendants Dr. Patrick Zimmermann and his practice, Family Medical Associates P.C.

The husband, Doug Storm, acting as special administrator of the estate of Maria Storm, won a new trial on appeal last year, claiming that a juror from the first case lied during voir dire.

The trial began at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Jury selection began at 9:40 a.m. and broke just after noon. The selection continued after jurors returned to the courtroom at 1:20 p.m. The selection was still ongoing as of 2:30 p.m.

The suit was originally filed in 2003 by Maria Storm.

Maria Storm claimed that Zimmerman failed to properly test and diagnose a cancerous lesion on her back.

Maria Storm was then diagnosed by a different doctor in 2003 with skin cancer.

She died two years later.

Her husband is seeking at least $50,000 in damages per count of the suit and costs.

The suit originally included another defendant, Dr. James Dalla Riva. He was dropped from the suit in 2006.

The original trial opened in January 2007 and lasted more than two weeks.

Doug Storm filed a motion asking Crowder for a new trial in February 2007.

In that filing, Doug Storm alleged that a juror lied about his role in two pending Madison County personal injury suits during jury selection.

Crowder denied the request for a new trial and Doug Storm appealed that ruling.

Rex Carr and Troy Walton represent the plaintiff.

Ted Dennis represents Zimmermann.

The practice is represented by Michael Murphy.

The trial will resume Wednesday and is expected to last into next week.

The case is Madison case number 03-L-999.

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