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Mistrial declared in wrongful death trial



Published: Fri, January 17, 2014 @ 4:09 p.m.

Mistrial declaired in wrongful death trial

WARREN

The wrongful death trial involving two Champion Township physicians and a military veteran who committed suicide while under their care was declared a mistrial today, as the jurors reported being “hopelessly deadlocked.”

Atty. Brian Kopp, who argued the case for the family of Michael Ecker, said afterwards it is too soon to decide whether they will seek a second trial.

“We’ll look at all our options, but we need to take a break” before deciding, he said.

One juror said the eight jurors were split 4-4, and none seemed to be willing to change his position on whether Drs. Frank and Zachary Veres of Champion were negligent in their treatment of Ecker, 25, who killed himself in August 2009, 11 days after his last doctor visit.

Kopp argued that the doctors failed to adequately address Ecker’s mental-health issues by failing to find out about the medical care he received before coming to them and by failing to use a written test filled out by the patient.


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