Tonight the jury in Provo returned a verdict in this wrongful death / dental malpractice trial for the remaining defendant, Dr. David Gutzman. (See my blog for July 27 – #1 and July 27- #2.) I was told that the jury deliberated for an hour before returning its verdict of no breach of the standard of care.
Recall that the dentist defendant, Dr. Blume, and the facility, The Smile Center, settled out just before trial started. That left only the dental anesthesiologist, Dr. Gutzman, in the case.
8/5/21- update and final thoughts:
1. Juries are unpredictable, and Utah County juries are very unpredictable.
2. There was a reasonable settlement reached by the family with two of the defendants. However, settling out- and leaving an empty chair– is risky for a plaintiff. I’ve seen more defense verdicts than I care to remember when there was an empty chair. I speculate that a jury may think the plaintiff has already been compensated, so why should they worry about the remaining defendant.