Judge Ruling in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Accused of Sitting on Hospital Board

Judge in medical malpractice suit accused of sitting on board of hospitalA Tennessee Circuit Court judge has recently been accused by plaintiff Annette Olerud of sitting on the board of the hospital in whose favor she ruled in a medical malpractice lawsuit brought by Olerud.

Olerud filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor employed by Vanderbilt Chidren's Hospital, according to WSMV.com.

Judge Barbara Haynes presided over the case, and ruled in favor of the defendant. Olerud then allegedly discovered that Haynes sat on the hospital's board and was once the board's chairwoman. 

Claiming a conflict of interest, Olerud and her medical malpractice attorney filed a motion for Haynes to recuse herself to the Tennessee Court of Appeals. Haynes ruled that she did not have to recuse herself, prompting Olerud to respond by filing an ethics complaint against the judge, according to the news source.

"Even if her intent was not to use her power and influence, it certainly leaves the appearance of impropriety. That's why these rules are in place for judges, so there can never be any question," Olerud told the news source.