Friday, February 23, 2007

Is Going Forward the Right Move for Weis?

The mistrial in the medical malpractice case involving Crewcut Charlie Weis leaves the Notre Dame coach with a difficult decision. Should he try the case again or should he punt? Would going back to court damage Weis' reputation, or has it already been soiled? One letter writer to the Boston Herald has made up their mind, saying Weis has demonstrated that he is no role model. "Exercise, diet and appropriately managed drug therapies do not fail people. People fail people. Weis, like millions of Americans, subscribed to a lifestyle of excess calories and inadequate physical activity, resulting in the predictable consequences of obesity, diminished self-esteem and declining health."

But each side has issues to consider. To get a picture of where the sides stand after the mistrial, we went back to attorney Tom Kirkendall, our legal expert in the case who also runs the site Houston's Clear Thinkers. Here is what he had to say:

"Regrettably, a mistrial was the correct decision.

"From reading your reports and press reports from the trial, I have reservations about the validity of Weis' case. Frankly, I'm not sure that the judge should ever allowed it to go to trial in the first place.

"However, the fact that the defendants are good doctors who came to the aid of a sick juror is simply not evidence that they properly treated Weis. Inasmuch as the remainder of the jurors understandably would be impressed with how the doctors handled the situation and could well be influenced by it, declaring a mistrial was the correct call.

"Settlement is a real 'who knows' proposition. Weis' attorneys are almost certainly working on a contingency fee, so Weis doesn't have much financial risk in teeing it up for another trial.

"From the defense perspective, the insurers for the doctors — who are probably the ones calling the shots in regard to settlement from the defense side — will be analyzing the probable spread between Weis' current settlement demand and the amount of damages that they think they can limit Weis to during a re-trial. If that spread gets too large, then the insurers have a financial incentive to give it another go."

Previous coverage:
Day 5: Mistrial of the Century
Day 4: Brady's Hail Mary
Day 3: Weis' hired hand
Day 2: Weis testifies
Day 1: Opening statements
Preview: A legal perspective
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1 comment:

Mikey said...

He should wear a green suit to next alternative dispute resolution or trial...