Opinion Change in Medical Negligence Cases

Opinion Change in Medical Negligence Cases

Over 200 jury eligible citizens, who participated as mock jurors on medical malpractice cases throughout Florida, were asked to whom they would give the benefit of the doubt in a civil case. Before hearing the case facts, more than two-thirds (69%) said that they would give the benefit of the doubt to the plaintiff. After deliberating to verdict, these same mock jurors were asked which party they wanted to “win” the case. Of the 69% of mock jurors who were initially predisposed to plaintiffs, 69% still favored the plaintiff after deliberations. More interesting, of the 31% who were initially predisposed to the defendant in a civil case, 70% favored the plaintiff after deliberations. Thus, jurors’ predispositions my change, given the facts of an actual case. These results from Venue DataLinkSM provide a partial refutation of the theory that jurors make up their minds early in a case, only rarely changing their minds after hearing the evidence.

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