Juror’s Comment Spurs New Trial Over Religious Bias Concerns

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -

A New Jersey appellate court has ordered a new civil trial for a doctor accused of harassment because a juror commented that the doctor didn’t put his hand on the Bible when he testified to defend himself.

The three-judge panel found the juror’s remark about Abbas Husain, who is Hindu, could have compromised the verdict with religious bias.

A jury in 2011 had found Husain created a hostile work environment and retaliated against a then-part time office employee. The complainant was awarded $12,500 and her lawyer was granted $103,000 in fees.

The juror’s comment was revealed after the trial judge held a post-verdict meeting with the jury, rejecting Husain’s request for a new trial in 2016. But the appellate panel found that the deliberations could be tainted.