Letter to the Editor Causes a Mistrial

By: (AP) A medical malpractice lawsuit ended in a mistrial because of a letter to the editor written by the doctor's wife.

The letter was written by Elizabeth Caucci, the wife of Dr. David J. Caucci, and it suggested that malpractice lawsuits are damaging health care in the area.

Lackawanna County Judge Trish Corbett said Caucci is entitled to publish her opinions, but writing a letter to the editor on the eve of her husband's trial "absolutely would taint the jury," according to a transcript of the proceedings. The letter was published in The Scranton Times on Tuesday, and Corbett said it was hard to believe Caucci didn't know it would be published during the trial.

On Wednesday, Corbett declared a mistrial and ordered Dr. Caucci to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees to date.

Mistrials in civil cases are unusual. Deputy Court Administrator James P. Minella said there have only been 10 in his 26 years at the courthouse.

Dr. Caucci and his lawyer, Jack T. McGrath, did not return phone messages seeking comment.


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