Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Monday, November 22, 2010

COSTS OF TRIALS

At a recent board of commissioners meeting a payment of $2500 or thereabouts was made to the Mayo Clinic. A question surfaced as to the reason Nicollet County was paying a bill of that amount to Mayo Clinic. The answer was simple, but tells volumes as to why our county expenditures keep increasing and thus property taxes keep increasing.

The payment funded the testimony of a Mayo Clinic doctor who was needed to testify concerning the injuries of an inmate in our jail. One inmate physically assaulted another and needed to be taken to the hospital for emergency room services. (Oh, yes, the county also picked up the tab for the hospital and doctor fees.) However, this bill was simply to pay for the doctor's expert testimony when the incident came to trial. According to our County Attorney, it is typical to charge up to $500 an hour for such testimony. This seems to be specific to the Mayo Clinic. Others are more civic minded and more reasonable in their fees.

Our attorney also shared that some medical witnesses have been subpoenaed and refused to show up because they were dissatisfied with the reimbursement they would be receiving. end

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