GREEN v. BURKHART et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER re: Voir Dire, Final Jury Instructions, and Verdict Form. Signed by Judge Arthur J. Schwab on 7/14/2017. (eet)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
JOHN HAGGERTY, JOHN GILARA,
DANIEL PACK, JOHN CHILES, and
MEMORANDUM ORDER RE:
VOIR DIRE, FINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS, AND VERDICT FORM
Jury Selection and Trial of this matter will commence on Monday, July 17, 2017 at 9:30
A.M. Currently pending before the Court are issues and objections related to Voir Dire, the
Final Jury Instructions, and the Verdict Form.
At the Final Pretrial Conference on June 29, 2017, Plaintiff proposed three questions to
be added to Voir Dire during the Jury Selection in this matter. Defense Counsel had no objection
to the first question, but objected to the second and third questions. The Court indicated that it
would incorporate Plaintiff’s first proposed question, but that his second and third proposed
questions - - which were broad and vague and sought open-ended opinions from potential jurors
rather than information to determine whether something about this case or the potential juror
would render the juror unable to be fair and impartial.
Accordingly, the Court has revised Question 13 to read as follows:
Is there anything about the nature of this case or the parties (including that Mr.
Green is incarcerated in prison) that would keep you from being a fair and
Plaintiff also provided the Court with proposed jury instructions, which were filed at
Doc. No. 207. The majority of Plaintiff’s proposed jury instructions are based on the model
instructions which the Court has already included in the Draft Final Jury Instructions. See Doc.
No. 192. The Court will decline to include the specific factual allegations Plaintiff proposes for
each instruction, because such information is misleading to the Jury.
Plaintiff has also included instructions for a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment for
deprivation of due process. Doc. No. 207. The Court granted summary judgment on this claim.
Doc. No. 127.
Finally, Plaintiff proposes the addition of Model Criminal Jury Instruction 4.18
concerning the testimony of corrections officers. Doc. No. 207. The Court finds that such an
instruction is inappropriate in the context of a civil case where the corrections officers are the
Defendants. The Final Jury Instructions will include the standard language concerning the
credibility of witnesses.
Plaintiff filed this objection to the Draft Verdict Form, doc. no. 181:
Plaintiff[‘s] only objection is that Defendant Haggerty is a named Defendant in Plaintiff’s
Failure to Intervene/Failure to Protect claim; however, Defendant Haggerty was not included on
the Verdict Form under that claim, nor was the claim of neglect and due process claims[.]
Doc. No. 205.
The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint, doc. no. 65. Plaintiff did
not state a failure to intervene or failure to protect claim against Defendant Haggerty. Doc. No.
65. The Court previously granted summary judgment on Plaintiff’s due process claims. Doc.
No. 127. The Court assumes that the “neglect” claim to which Plaintiff refers is the negligence
claim stated in the Third Amended Complaint. Doc. No. 65. If so, summary judgment was also
granted for that claim. Doc. No. 127.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s objection to the Draft Verdict Form is DENIED.
The Court will file final Voir Dire, Final Jury Instructions, and the Verdict Form on the
SO ORDERED, this 14th day of July, 2017,
s/Arthur J. Schwab_______
Arthur J. Schwab
United States District Judge
All ECF Registered Counsel of Record
1600 Walters Mill Road
Somerset, PA 15510
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