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    Wednesday, June 16, 2004

    Jackpot: I completely missed this story, but Geoffrey Fieger, the Michigan lawyer best known as Dr. Kevorkian's attorney, has hit the jackpot in Ohio, winning a record $30 million dollars for a boy with cerebral palsy:

    Defense lawyers argued that Walter's injuries were caused by acts of God, not the doctor or the hospital staff, and they asked the jury to give him nothing. But most of the jurors disagreed.

    'We felt the injuries to Walter could have been prevented if the necessary steps had been taken by the doctor and the hospital staff,' jury foreman Sammie McClarin of Cleveland said afterward.

    The windfall award might dominate today's headlines, but he considered it secondary to the pain that Walter and his mother have endured.

    Timothy Irving of Parma Heights, one of two jurors to vote against the verdict, said he sympathized with Walter but couldn't blame the medical staff. 'It's just a wrong thing that happened,' he said. 'Nobody could have helped it.'

    Jordan declined to comment. His lawyer, Joseph Farchione, who also represented the Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services clinic where Jordan works, said the verdict was not supported by the evidence, and he said he would appeal.

    'Dr. Jordan provided good care to Walter and his mom,' Farchione said. 'This child's injuries developed in utero well before the delivery.'

    The majority of the jurors, Farchione said, were swayed by emotion and Fieger's theatrics. Fieger, who is best known for defending Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the assisted-suicide doctor, said the case should never have gone to trial. He blamed the defendants' insurance companies for delaying the case since it was filed in 1997, and for refusing to consider an out-of-court settlement.

    Blaming insurance companies these days seems a sure-fire way to win. Nobody likes insurance companies. Besides, it's only insurance company money, right?

    Although Mt. Sinai no longer exists, a $77 million insurance fund remains to be tapped for damages, Fieger said. Fieger and Harris said they are resigned to spending the next several years defending the record verdict in courts on appeal.

    'The people who did this to Walter are insured,' Fieger said. 'The taxpayers are the ones who will continue to support Walter until this is resolved.'

    But until then, who will support Geoffrey Fieger?

    posted by Sydney on 6/16/2004 01:08:00 PM 0 comments


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