Local News

Tuesday, Feb 05 2013 05:42 PM

Doctor appeals loss of negligence lawsuit

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A Bakersfield doctor who lost his multimillion dollar lawsuit alleging Bakersfield police and Hall Ambulance emergency medical workers failed to quickly transport him to the hospital after he suffered a stroke is appealing.

It was expected.

Thomas Brill, the attorney for Dr. Mohamad Harb -- who suffered major brain damage in the 2007 incident -- made his case for a new trial Tuesday in Kern County Superior Court.

Brill argued several points, including that the judge shouldn't have allowed into evidence that Harb wasn't taking his medication. It was irrelevant (since Harb didn't allege the city and Hall caused his stroke) and prejudicial, Brill said.

Brill questioned the inclusion of some jury instructions and said he believes there is enough evidence for the judge to ignore the jury verdict and find which side -- the city or Hall -- is negligent since the two sides pointed fingers at one another.

Brill said Judge J. Eric Bradshaw, who presided over the jury trial, has until next Monday to decide on the appeal.

Last December, after just six hours of deliberations, a jury unanimously found that police and the city were not negligent, and that a Hall Ambulance paramedic and his employer were not grossly negligent, when a delay occurred in transporting Harb to the emergency room.

Mick Marderosian, the attorney who represented the city, Bakersfield Police Department and former Bakersfield police officer Claudia Payne said at the time he believed the verdict showed that the justice system works. He expressed sympathy for the Harb family, though, as did jurors.

"This was just an unfortunate event that occurred," Marderosian said after the verdict. "This was an unfortunate event wrapped in emotion."

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