Friday, March 23, 2007

Crewcut Charlie's Retrial Scheduled for July

The Boston Herald reports that Crewcut Charlie Weis' medical malpractice lawsuit against Massachusetts General Hospital physicians Charles Ferguson and Richard Hodin has been scheduled for retrial July 13 — if the sides don't settle before then.

The wildly colorful first trial — Weis claimed Ferguson and Hodin had botched his gastric-bypass operation in 2002 — had a bizarre ending when juror Tony Perry collapsed while listening to testimony. Ferguson and Hodin rushed to Perry's aid.

After Perry was taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General, Weis attorney Michael Mone filed a motion for a mistrial. Defense attorney William Dailey argued unsuccessfully against a mistrial and expressed afterward that his side was winning. "We thought the case was going very well for the doctors and we were confident," Dailey said.

What are the chances of a settlement? Our legal expert for the case, Houston attorney Tom Kirkendall, called it a "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 retrial. If that spread gets too large, then the insurers have a financial incentive to give it another go."

We're hopeful of getting a comment from Weis in the next couple of days. Word is that Weis was not asked about a possible retrial during his press conference Wednesday.

As for juror Perry, if anybody has an update, please let us know. His daughter told Boston TV station WHDH shortly after her father's hospitalization that Perry had taken his jury duty seriously and regretted what happened.

Thanks to Steroid Nation for the Weis update. Here are links to our complete coverage of the first trial.

The Weis Trial:
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
The Story: Weis' chronic obesity

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