In September of 2017, a paraplegic with chronic pain named Brent Sloane, died from suicide. Mr. Sloane gave no indication he was suicidal to his friends, family, or medical providers, and at the time of his death he was dealing with opioid withdrawal due to his pain management doctors cutting his pain medication prescription by 55%. His family turned to Hans Poppe, a renowned Kentucky attorney, to sue Commonwealth Pain and Spine for medical malpractice.
Since the case involved the emotionally charged issue of suicide, this could lead to jurors being incredibly biased against the plaintiffs’ case. Given the unique and emotionally charged aspects of the case, conducting jury research was going to be critical. Dr. Stuart Miles of the DecisionQuest team was tasked with strategizing how they could lower Mr. Slone’s comparative fault at trial.
Fortunately for the trial team, who were already facing additional setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DecisionQuest (A U.S. Legal Support company) was equipped to conduct an online jury research project for Mr. Poppe at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This research garnered important strategic insights that were used by the trial team. Using the information uncovered from the jury research, Dr. Miles was able to assist the trial team with openings and closings as well as with the cross examinations of witnesses.