Lawyer fights $1M fine over banned testimony, mistrial

AP News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2015 11:01 AM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A single word of testimony at a medical-malpractice trial has cost a Pennsylvania lawyer a nearly $1 million fine she says threatens her home, her family and her small law firm.

Lawyer Nancy Raynor says her assets have been frozen over her witness's slip of the tongue.

The judge had ruled that jurors couldn't be told the patient at the center of the case was a smoker. But her expert witness said just that, prompting a mistrial.

A common pleas judge has awarded $946,000 to the other side. Lawyer Joseph Messa says that will pay several lawyers and their client for the cost of the second four-week trial.

Raynor has asked to have the sanctions stayed while she appeals. That matter goes to court Feb. 19.