A day after being handed a humbling defeat in a Massachusetts courtroom, Crewcut Charlie Weis issued a statement about the setback, saying he "was still surprised by the verdict."
He said it was time to move on, that he did not plan to appeal and "will make no further comments." Weis also said that he thought the fact he is Notre Dame's coach "was certainly used against me in the trial."
One has to suspect that the carefully written statement was crafted by one of Weis' attorneys. Here is a link to the full statement.
Lindsey Willhite, for one, is not buying any of Weis' post-trial rhetoric. The Arlington Heights Daily Herald writer has a blistering response to Weis' statement, pointing out Weis' many warts that were revealed during the two trials, the first of which ended in mistrial.
Willhite points out that Weis, then an assistant with the New England Patriots, first shared his decision to have gastric bypass surgery in 2002 with quarterback Tom Brady. Only in the final stages before surgery did he divulge his plans to his wife, Maura.
Weis' statement, which tries to put family before football — certainly not believable if you look at his trustworthiness in Brady over his wife — has Willhite wondering, "Who is the real Weis?" Willhite suggests that Weis' statement is merely an attempt to get in the last word, even in defeat.
As for Weis' surprise at losing, Willhite asks, "Why? Because football coaches always think things should go their way? Here’s another testimonial nugget that reminds everyone why football czars rank among the most controlling people on the planet."Now let's turn to Houston attorney Tom Kirkendall, who along with University of Iowa doctor Gary Gaffney, have provided us with analysis during both trials. Gaffney runs the site Steroid Nation and Kirkendall operates Houston's Clear Thinkers.
We thank each of these gentlemen for their valued contributions. Here is the last word from Tom:
"The rematch of Charlie Weis' lawsuit against the doctors who performed his gastric bypass surgery turned out to be as much of a mismatch as Weis' Notre Dame team endured in losing to LSU, 41-14, in the Sugar Bowl in early January. After spending only about two hours in deliberations (it usually takes that long for jurors just to elect a foreperson and take lunch orders), the jury returned a verdict denying all of Weis' damage claims against the doctors. Thus, it appears that the stronger legal position trumped the politics of the case in this particular trial.
"As noted in my post before the first trial and my post after the mistrial, Weis faced an uphill battle in his legal case against the doctors. The surgery that Weis requested is notoriously risky and subject to complications, so the fact that Weis endured serious post-operation complications obviously was not surprising to the jury. Moreover, Weis' expert witness during the trial — always a key witness for the plaintiff in a medical malpractice trial — was not from the Boston area and was not able to portray the defendant-doctors' actions in performing the surgery or in treating Weis afterward as being beneath the customary standard of care for doctors handling this type of procedure.
"As Dr. Gaffney noted in his blog post on the plaintiff's expert, the expert's testimony appeared to raise merely a reasonable disagreement with the defendant-doctors over the proper course of post-op treatment given the risks that Weis was facing. Reasonable disagreements do not usually prompt a jury to find that the treatment decisions of doctors — particularly ones with reputations as good as those of the doctors in the Weis case — were beneath the customary standard of care.
"Beyond that, the politics of the case during the retrial turned out not to be as favorable for Weis as in the first trial. Media coverage for the re-trial appeared to be much more muted than coverage of the first trial, perhaps because Weis' star celebrity witness from the first trial — Patriots Super Bowl QB Tom Brady — did not testify in person during the retrial. Retrials tend to be more streamlined than the first trial, so that faster pace may have hurt Weis' case by limiting the amount of time that the jury considered evidence of Weis' pain and suffering, which appeared to be one of the stronger elements of Weis' case.
"And although Weis seemed from media reports to do fine as a witness during the trial, it's a tall task to evoke empathy from jurors for someone who is currently doing exactly what he set out to do in electing to have the surgery in the first place.
"But in the end, this case reflects that the civil justice and professional liability insurance systems usually work reasonably well in this type of case. A man who unquestionably endured severe suffering was able to hold two prestigious professionals accountable for their actions in a court of law. Although the amount of unproductive time that all parties must spend in this type of litigation is regrettable, the financial risk that Weis' attorneys took in taking the case on a contingency fee basis, and the financial risk that the insurers took in insuring the doctors, removed any meaningful financial risk that the individuals had to endure in the outcome of the trial.
"Thus, the two interests with the most riding financially on the outcome of trial — Weis' attorneys and the doctors' insurers — were competing investment bankers betting on the result of the trial. In this particular case, the insurers made the better bet."
Preview: A legal perspective
Day 1: Battle lines drawn
Day 2: Weis' hired hand returns
Day 3: Weis takes the stand
Day 4: Team Weis scores a victory
Day 5: Weis' story is questioned
Day 6: Hodin defends decisions
Day 7: Weis loses battle of the bulge
The mistrial: A look back at our coverage of the first trial.