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Malpractice defense accused of ‘egregious mischaracterization’ of record

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Defense attorneys who asked for a rehearing from the Indiana Court of Appeals panel that earlier affirmed a trial court medical malpractice jury verdict failed to sway judges who took the opportunity to call out their “egregious mischaracterization” of the record.

The panel affirmed in all respects its opinion of May 20 that upheld a trial court jury’s verdict against Dr. Roger Jay Piatek in a medical malpractice case. In doing so, the panel had harsh words for attorneys from the Fort Wayne firm of Murphy Ice & Koeneman LLP.

"On rehearing, Piatek argues the trial court should have given a contributory negligence instruction because Beale did not provide Piatek with an accurate medical history. Before we consider that argument, we must address Piatek’s egregious mischaracterization of the record in the Petition for Rehearing," Judge Melissa May wrote for the court in Roger Jay Piatek, M.D., and The Piatek Institute v. Shairon Beale, 49A04-1209-CT-463.

Beale won her medical malpractice complaint against Piatek filed after she developed toxic epidermal necrolysis that was believed to have been caused by the medications Piatek prescribed for weight loss. The rehearing brief claims “Beale herself” asserted the doctor’s lack of accurate medical history was the proximate cause of harm.

"Piatek directs us to three places in the trial transcript, none of which reflect Beale ever made any such assertion, or even suggest she might have. Not only is there no support at those places in the transcript for Piatek’s statement, the pages to which Piatek directs us do not even include evidence,” May wrote. “Rather, all are from opening or closing statements by counsel. It is axiomatic that the arguments of counsel are not evidence.

“We note this misrepresentation in Piatek’s petition for rehearing came after we noted a number of deficiencies in the brief Piatek’s counsel submitted on appeal. Those deficiencies included raising allegations not referred to in the Statement of the Issues as required by Indiana Appellate Rule 46(A)(4),” May continued. Those included a transcript submitted with pages out of order, allegations of error unsupported by explanation or citation to legal authority and mischaracterization of certain testimony.
 

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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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