Brief Fact Summary. The defendant, Cunningham (the “defendant”) was a nurse who removed Demerol from syringes that were intended for patients in pain. Evidence showed that the defendant was a Demerol addict and she was charged with tampering with a consumer product and reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of bodily harm.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Evidence of prior conduct may be admitted to show motive, but the judge may exclude such evidence if there is a possibility of undue influence or prejudice.]
Whether the defendant placed others in danger of bodily injury by failing to apply Demerol (a pain medication) to patients suffering in pain?
Whether evidence of the defendant’s addiction to Demerol and her suspension for stealing Demerol from her former employer was admissible?
The defendant placed others in danger of bodily injury by her failure to give them pain medication. The defendant’s argument that failing to relieve pain is not the same as causing pain is not supported. Conduct that perpetuates an injury by preventing it from being alleviated is the same as creating a new injury upon the person.
Evidence of the defendant’s addiction and of her prior suspension for stealing Demerol from her former employer was admissible on the issue of motive.
But a lawyer in federal court is not required to except to rulings by the trial judge.View Full Point of Law