February 28, 2011
Retrial ordered in Md. case held on Shavuot
An Orthodox Jewish plaintiff in a medical malpractice trial will be allowed a retrial after he missed part of the trial for a religious holiday.
The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 24 that by not rescheduling the court date so that Alexander Neustadter could appear, his opponent went unchallenged, prejudicing the trial.
The trial had been scheduled last year on Shavuot. Neustadter missed the opportunity to challenge a witness for the Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring and lost the case. He had sued the hospital for not reintubating his 91-year-old father, a Holocaust survivor, after his breathing tube had been removed.
Neustadter’s attorney notified the defendant’s lawyer shortly after the trial date was set, but the judge was not made aware of the conflict until a month before the trial. The judge said that was too late to change the tight court schedule, the Baltimore Sun reported.