Crowder denies Carr a third trial in melanoma case

By Amelia Flood | Oct 26, 2010

The plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit that has already gone to two juries won't be presenting his case to a third.

The plaintiff in a medical malpractice suit that has already gone to two juries won't be presenting his case to a third.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder has entered what she writes is "the final order," in the suit which has already seen two trials, an unsuccessful appeal, and two defense victories.

Crowder entered the order Oct. 15 after hearing arguments in late September.

Rex Carr, attorney for plaintiff Douglas Storm had argued that his counterpart, Ted Dennis, intentionally violated a motion in limine and unfairly tipped the balance of juror sympathy to his client, Dr. Patrick Zimmermann.

Douglas Storm sued Zimmermann seven years ago along with his wife, Maria Storm, for medical malpractice, alleging the Collinsville doctor failed to properly test and treat a mole he removed from Maria Storm's back.

Maria Storm had the mole removed in 1998 by a Maryville doctor. It re-grew and she had it removed by Zimmermann a year later.

Maria Storm was diagnosed with advanced skin cancer in 2003, four years after Zimmermann removed the mole.

Maria Storm later died from the disease.

Zimmermann denied he did not act or treat Maria Storm properly.

The suit originally went to trial in January 2007.

After a more than two-week trial, a jury found for Zimmermann.

The verdict was thrown out after it came to light that a juror in the first trial lied about his role in two Madison County lawsuits.

Crowder ordered a new trial.

Zimmermann appealed.

Zimmermann lost his appeal and the case came back to Edwardsville.

The suit's second trial in July of this year lasted over two weeks.
The jury again found for the defense.

Carr filed for a new trial, claiming that Dennis violated a motion in limine when he asked his client on the witness stand about his previous history of catching suspicious looking moles.

Carr argued that Dennis had done it intentionally to shift the jury's sympathies and paint his client's actions as an honest mistake as opposed to outright negligence.

Dennis denied Carr's claims and pointed to the lack of objection from the plaintiff's table at the time of questioning.

Patrick Murphy represents Zimmermann's practice which is also a defendant in the case.

Crowder oversaw both trials.

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

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