Cummings v. OrtegaAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff Penny Cummings filed a medical malpractice action against Defendants, a doctor and a health care facility. The trial court entered judgment for Defendants after a jury found that Defendants were not liable for Plaintiff's injuries. Based on two affidavits submitted by jurors after the trial alleging juror misconduct, Plaintiff filed a motion to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial. The trial court granted Plaintiff's motion. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court's order setting aside the verdict and awarding a new trial. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court erred by considering the evidence of alleged juror misconduct in the form of the two affidavits because the affidavits were inadmissible pursuant to N.C. R. Evid. 606(b), which reflects the common law rule that affidavits of jurors are inadmissible for the purposes of impeaching the verdict except as they pertain to extraneous influences that may have affected the jury's decision.