Georgia Supreme Court resoundingly rejects trial judge's decision to exclude injured child from her malpractice trial
In a 6-1 decision, the Georgia Supreme Court breathed some humanity back into Georgia malpractice claims when it overturned a trial judge's decision holding that Kyla Kesterson could not atttend the trial of her malpractice claim against Dr. Walter Jarrett and Athens Obstetrics. As the Court held: "The right of a natural party to be present in the courtroom when her case is being tried is deeply rooted in the law of this nation and, if anything, even more embedded in the law of this state." The Court pointed out that it was irrelevant whether Kyla fully understood the proceedings and that there are multiple legal methods of assuring that juror sympathy does not overcome the legal proofs of the case.
Despite the foundational civil right being considered, it is unlikely that Michigan's current Supreme Court majority would come to the same conclusion. The Republican-nominated majority too consistently devalues civil rights of victims in favor of protecting financial interests of insurance companies. What the Georgia Supreme Court termed "an exceptional event" (barring the child from her own trial for fear her appearance would generate undue sympathy) would not even stand out among the pro-insurance, anti-victim and anti-consumer holdings of the Michigan Supreme Court.