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MAHONING COUNTY Jury selection to start in case against Forum



Published: Tue, September 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Four doctors originally named in the lawsuit have either settled out of court or been dismissed.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Jury selection was to begin today in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, where jurors will decide whether a former Canfield Township woman received proper psychiatric care in the months before she drowned her children.

Annette Giancola, 42, killed her 3-year-old twins, Jonathan and Rebecca, in March 1997. The children were found in the bathtub of the family's home in Canfield Township.

Giancola was found innocent by reason of insanity and had been confined to psychiatric hospitals for treatment. In May, she was given permission to leave hospital grounds on unsupervised trips.

She is not allowed to return to Mahoning County without judicial permission.

Her former husband, John Giancola, filed a civil lawsuit in 1998 against Forum Health, alleging that she did not receive proper care when she was treated at Forum Health Northside Medical Center some four months before the drownings.

Forum Health lawyers have denied the allegations in court documents.

Settlements, dismissals

John Giancola also sued four doctors who had treated Annette for depression and other psychotic problems, but they have all been either dismissed from the suit or have reached out-of-court settlements and won't be included in the trial.

Details of the settlements have not been made public.

One thing jurors won't see once the trial starts is photographs taken of the slain children in the bathtub and during their autopsies.

Atty. Marshall Buck, representing Forum Health, filed a motion asking that such photos be barred from the courtroom, saying their only purpose would be to inflame the jurors and cause them to rule against Forum.

Judge Maureen Cronin said lawyers for Giancola agreed to not introduce the photographs during the trial.

bjackson@vindy.com




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