No decision today on summary judgment in suit against Michael Morton, Gilbert Baker | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

No decision today on summary judgment in suit against Michael Morton, Gilbert Baker

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 10:13 AM

The Log Cabin Democrat in Conway reports that Judge David Laser heard arguments today but made no ruling on  a defense request for dismissal of the civil lawsuit against nursing home owner Michael Morton and former Republican Sen. Gilbert Baker over a $4.2 million reduction in a jury verdict by then-Judge Mike Maggio.

Neither Baker nor Maggio has been charged and have denied wrongdoing.

Laser said he wanted to delay a ruling until the outcome of Maggio's appeal of a federal judge's refusal to let him withdraw a guilty plea to taking a bribe in the form of campaign contributions from Morton, arranged by Baker, to reduce a $5.2 million verdict against a Greenbrier nursing home owned by Morton. The home failed to follow a doctor's order to hospitalize a suffering patient. She died soon after. The jury verdict was unanimous, but Maggio ruled it shocked the conscience and reduced it to $1 million. 

The defense argues that the plaintiffs can't demonstrate a quid pro quo just because Morton made campaign contributions to Maggio. It also argues that Maggio acted within the law in reducing the verdict. Even if he had not, the remedy would be a civil claim. They also argue that Maggio said under oath in an Ethics Commission proceeding that he had not been bribed.

Lawyers for the family of Martha Bull, the nursing home patient who died in Greenbrier, filed a motion this week asking the judge to take notice of the undisputed fact of Maggio's guilty plea and bribery conviction. 

The plaintiffs have been unable to take sworn testimony from Maggio while his federal case pends. The judge's decision today delays, but leaves open the possibility, of an eventual deposition of Maggio.

Laser, who is retired, is hearing the case on special assignment because judges in Faulkner County disqualified from hearing a case concerning a former colleague.

Tags: , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Arkansas legislature rejects bipartisan effort to study race relations

    On Friday, the Arkansas Legislative Council soundly rejected a bipartisan effort by two senators to to create a temporary legislative subcommittee to study race relations in the state.
    • Sep 15, 2017
  • The inspiring Hillary Clinton

    Hillary Clinton's campaign for president illustrates again the double standard applied to women. Some writers get it. They even find the supposedly unlikable Clinton inspiring.
    • Oct 16, 2016

Most Viewed

  • The yawning teacher pay gap between Arkansas school districts

    Before Arkansas congratulates itself for outpacing Oklahoma on teacher pay, we should take a look at the huge disparity in salaries within the state. New teachers in Bentonville may make almost $46,000 a year, but new teachers in many other districts will start the 2018-19 school year earning $31,800 — less than the starting salary in Tulsa.
  • Anonymous Harding University students relaunch LGBTQ publication, campus security removes copies

    A group of anonymous Harding University students on Friday published an "HU Queer Press 2.0" zine, covering issues of gay rights at the private, Churches of Christ-affiliated campus in Searcy. A similar publication, "The State of the Gay at Harding University," set off a firestorm of controversy at Harding seven years ago. Shortly after the publication was distributed, campus security officers began gathering the copies of the zine and throwing them in the trash.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation