One of the more difficult social responsibilities that we have is serving on a jury. In addition to the obvious inconvenience and time away from family and work responsibilities, jurors have the difficult task of determining who to believe in a situation where completely contradictory explanations of an incident are being offered.
At most medical malpractice and personal injury trials, the party initiating the lawsuit (the plaintiff) is claiming they sustained an injury due to the conduct of the person that they are suing (the defendant)– who generally denies all accusations of wrongdoing.
For a jury who may be hearing weeks worth of testimony from witnesses from both sides, the task of selecting the relevant information and applying it to the particular circumstance can be incredibly difficult— particularly when both sides to a trial offer reasonable explanations for their positions.
A jury in Pennsylvania was able to sort through the differing opinions presenting in a trial involving the development of pressure sores during an admission to a nursing home. The lawsuit was initiated by the family of a deceased woman who allegedly developed pressure sores during her admission to The Commons at Squirrel Hill. In the face of arguments presented by the nursing home that the woman’s pressure sores developed prior to her admission, the jury awarded the decedent’s family $300,000 in damages.