BACKGROUNDHeidi Butterfield gave birth to Kylie Butterfield in July 2000 at the Hospital. Upon delivery, Kylie was not breathing on her own and her pulse was low. The doctors and nurses present attempted to revive her. She was eventually flown to Primary Children's Medical Center. She suffered significant, permanent impairment. In November 2002, Plaintiffs sued Defendants in Sevier County. They alleged that Kylie's condition was caused by negligent resuscitation efforts at the Hospital. Defendants countered that Kylie's condition was the result of a stroke or some other cause.
In October 2006, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Change of Venue. The motion was based on the ground that a fair and impartial jury could not be impaneled in Sevier County due to the county's small population and the Hospital's prominence in the community. The Hospital is the only one in the county and is one of fourteen major employers there. The Hospital is owned and operated by IHC Health Services, Inc. of Salt Lake City. The trial court recognized Plaintiffs' concern about impaneling an impartial jury but, expressing confidence that an impartial jury could be impaneled, denied the motion.
In March 2008, weeks before trial, a pool of 100 potential jurors was drawn. Each potential juror was given a questionnaire eliciting information, such as whether the potential juror knew or had a relationship with any witness or party. Based on these questionnaires, the trial court asked Plaintiffs and Defendants to "identify those potential jurors which [they] . . . fe[lt] like [they'd] like to exclude," adding, "I'll take a closer look at those." Plaintiffs identified numerous potential jurors, including four who eventually decided the case. The trial court took the matter under advisement. The court excused forty of the jurors for cause based on the parties' suggestions and its own review of the questionnaires and reserved the balance of jury selection for trial.
Judge(s): J. Frederic Voros, Jr.
Jurisdiction: Utah Court of Appeals
Related Categories: Civil Procedure , Malpractice , Torts
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Court of Appeals Judge(s)|
|William Thorne, Jr.|
|Frederic Voros, Jr.|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|