Juror honesty during voir dire: The failure to answer honestly versus the failure to honestly hear the name of a witness

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The following is SM JUROR’s slideshare analysis of Wiegand v. Fabrizi Trucking & Paving Co., Inc., 2017-Ohio-363, 83 N.E.3d 247.

Our slideshare analysis of Wiegand v. Fabrizi Trucking & Paving Co., Inc., 2017-Ohio-363, 83 N.E.3d 247 addresses the issue of juror honesty during voir dire and the impact nondisclosure could have on the trial. Predominantly, was the juror withholding the fact that she recognized the name of a potential trial witness or did she simply not hear the name of the witness when it was called during voir dire?

In this auto accident case, the trial was bifurcated into compensatory and punitive damages phases.  A list of all potential witnesses was read to the jury at the beginning of the trial.  The jury found in favor of the plaintiff in the compensatory damages phase.  When the punitive damages phase began, a witness took the stand and a juror realized she knew him and immediately informed the trial court.  The court then held a meeting with the juror, and the juror said she did not hear the name of the witness when it was read before trial.  The juror was dismissed pursuant to plaintiff’s request.  The jury then found in favor of the defendants in the punitive damages phase.  Plaintiff’s motion for new trial based on juror misconduct was denied.

View our slideshare to see how the appellate court handled the juror misconduct issue, paying attention to how the appellate court affirmed the denial of the motion for new trial under the circumstances of this particular case.

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Don’t let juror misconduct taint your next verdict…