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Judge orders delay in civil trial over Post-Gazette news article

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 20, 2011

An Allegheny County judge Monday postponed a jury trial in a civil lawsuit filed by a Cheswick family alleging a man died because of mistakes by doctors and nurses in May 2009 at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, attorneys on the case said. Judge Ronald W. Folino continued the case for at least six months because of a story about the lawsuit that appeared Monday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Judge Folino made the ruling after UPMC's attorneys filed a motion to continue the trial because of the news article, as well as a request for sanctions against the Sweets' attorney, Deborah Maliver, because she was allegedly "complicit" in the publishing of the article. The motion for sanctions against Maliver -- which could have included attorneys' fees and costs associated with the continuance -- were denied by Judge Folino. John Conti, UPMC's lead attorney on the case, said in an interview UPMC sought the continuance because "it's obvious that with the article written today, it made it impossible to select a fair and impartial jury."

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