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O.J. McDuffie’s $11 million verdict gets tossed

In May, former Dolphins receiver O.J. McDuffie won an $11 million medical malpractice award against noted Miami orthopedist Dr. John Uribe.

Earlier this week, the verdict was scrapped.

Per the Associated Press, Miami-Dade Judge Michael Genden voided the outcome on Thursday, based on the use of a medical manual as evidence at trial.

But Genden presided over the trial, and he could have prevented the manual from being used in the first place. As a result, it could be that Genden simply didn’t agree with the outcome, and that the decision to allow the medical manual into evidence provided the easiest path to scuttling the verdict.

Uribe’s lawyer, Chuck Hartz, complained about the verdict after the trial, which included a Hall of Fame quarterback on witness list. “We had a jury swayed by Dan Marino and the celebrity influence of the NFL,” Hartz said. “This was an irrational verdict. Some juries don’t understand medicine, and this was a case complicated by the fact that jurors were starstruck.” (Then again, few lawyers who lose cases like this say, “It was all my fault. I’m not a very good lawyer, I didn’t work very hard to prepare, and I probably came across to the jury as an asshole.”)

Though Genden didn’t scrap the verdict based on that assessment (the one in the text or the one in parentheses), the fact that he wiped out the outcome and ordered a brand new trial based on a mistake he made in allowing the manual into evidence in the first place suggests that he was simply looking for a way to correct what he regarded to be a broader injustice.

The next time around, McDuffie could get $11 million again, or maybe even more. He also could get less -- all the way down to nothing.