A new trial was ordered by the Iowa appeals court between patient Natalie Kipp and surgeon Douglas Stanford over an abdominal surgery on Aug. 27, 2013. Stanford’s lawyers claimed in court that statements made by Kipp’s lawyers in closing arguments asking the jurors to “be the hero” for someone who didn’t have the power herself were inappropriate and inflammatory…law360, Med Mal Atty’s ‘Be A Hero’ Closings Prompt New Trial For Doc, Cara Salvatore, 2020

One of those statements, according to the appeals court opinion, was Kipp’s lawyer’s declaration, “You’re given the power to be a hero for someone who doesn’t have the power herself.“.

According to the appeals court, the statement inappropriately implied that the jurors would be heroes only if they opined in favor of Kipp. However, the court expressed no opinion whether it is proper to suggest jurors are heroes by performing their civic duties in general. The court also said that the lower court didn’t abuse its discretion properly in pointing out the impropriety.

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Kayur V. Patel, MD, MRO, FACP, FACPE, FACHE, FACEP
KayurVPatel@ExpertWitness.MD