The plaintiff in this case, Judith Richardson Haimes, testified to the court that she was born with special psychic powers. She said that a person who has these powers is able to use their extra sense, in addition to the four other people have. The plaintiff started work in a new office in New Castle, Delaware in the late 1960s. She read auras and provided various types of psychic counselling. She also helped law enforcement agencies. In the mid-1970s, she went to the Temple University Hospital for a CT scan. She said after the CT scan her abilities to be a psychic were hindered and she was no longer able to work in her profession because she suffered from headaches and nausea.
The issue is whether the CT scan resulted in the plaintiff suffering from illnesses and not being able to perform her work as a psychic.
The jury concluded that the $600,000 should be paid to the plaintiff for the damages that were done by the CT scan. The money was meant to make up for lost wages that she was suffering due to the scan that left her ill.
The jury came to the decision because they believed that there was medical malpractice when the plaintiff received her CT scan, and this caused her to have many side effects that impaired her ability to continue her line of work as a psychic.
There was much dissenting opinion about the outcome of the trial. In fact, the defendants decided to appeal the decision and they have been granted a new trial. The public also disapproved of the decision, and this was cited in the case report as being due to the nature of the plaintiff’s line of work, the verdict’s amount and the massive attention that was concentrated on the insurance crisis that was “under the guise of tort reform.” Various legislatures, government agencies and lobby groups were disturbed by the facts in the case and the basis that the jury used for its verdict. In fact, the decision was accused of being responsible for an ensuing insurance crisis.
The defendants were also disturbed by the fact that the trial judge was away during the defendant’s testimony. Furthermore, the judge was also away during the testimony from the plaintiff’s expert. This absence was not explained by the court, and this caused a “negative inference and prejudiced the jury.”
I think this case is quite ridiculous and sets a poor standard by which determine subsequent related cases. The issue is mainly in the fact that it appears anyone can go through a CT scan and then say the procedure interfered with various components of their lives. The symptoms that were experienced by the plaintiff were nothing more than what one might experience when suffering from the flu. When reading this case, I thought it was made up, because it shows how completely faulted the court system is in England. Either that, or this case is an extreme rarity.
I was also baffled by the amount of money that was awarded to the plaintiff. $600,000 is a considerable amount. I would think that even if the CT scans did cause her to not be able to continue her work as a psychic, she would not receive that much money. I had thought that the sum a person would receive due to lost time at work, would be the equivalent to lost wages, though I suppose if the symptoms were actually caused by the CT scan, the plaintiff would be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
Finally, I want to point out that the very basis of the court system is to provide that the defendant is innocent until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, I didn’t see any evidence that the CT scan was the true cause of the plaintiff allegedly suffering from various symptoms that impaired her ability to work.