(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this dog bite/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Jury Misconduct As Grounds For New Trial
Jury misconduct (CCP 657(2): Juror misconduct so seriously infringes on the right to a fair trial that it raises a rebuttable presumption of prejudice. Enyart v. City of Los Angeles (1999) 76 CA4th 499, 507.
Here the entire jury panel took less than one hour (after the court’s response to jury questions #1 & #2) to return a verdict of no liability for the defendant, this after five full days of testimony. The jury deliberated very quickly and it appears they did not review all the evidence or jury instructions, as evidenced by the failure of the jury to read and evaluate the recorded statement of the defendant, or to review all of the testimony offered by both the plaintiff as well as the eyewitness to this accident.
The court should consider such factors as whether the misconduct has diminished a party’s burden of proof on a critical issue, impeached witnesses or contradicted a defense, or conveyed information that would bias the other jurors. Young v. Brunicardi (1986) 187 CA3d 1344.
That a juror concealed a bias or prejudice on voire dire. Bardessono v. Michels (1970) 3 C3d 780; Enyart v. City of Los Angeles (1999) 76 CA4th 499, 506, 509-511.
Statements were made or conduct, conditions or events occurred either inside or outside the jury room that were likely to have influenced the verdict improperly. Ev. C. 1150(a); Locksely v. Ungureanu (1986) 178 CA3d 457. That a juror had made statements indicating he had made up his mind on the case before it was submitted to the jury. Clemens v. Regents of Univ. of Calif. (1970) 8 CA3d 1, 19
A juror’s inattentiveness during trial is also a ground for a new trial. Hasson v. Ford Motor Co.(1982) 32 C3d 388.
It appears the jury did not follow the law and weigh the evidence correctly or apply the correct burden of proof.
Based upon the foregoing, plaintiff respectfully requests that the court grant plaintiff’s Motion for New Trial, so that such an egregious miscarriage of justice may be remedied.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.