Drummer Turned Doc Defibrillates Potential Juror in His Trial

Marcia Frellick

March 30, 2018

James Lilja, MD, a San Jose, California, obstetrician/gynecologist and former drummer for the famed punk band The Offspring, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) Tuesday on a prospective juror in the malpractice case against him.

According to the publication Law360, the potential juror went into cardiac arrest as he was waiting to be called back into the Oakland, California, courtroom, fell, then hit his head and collapsed during a morning break in the proceedings. Lilja and his nurse assistant rushed to help him and administered shocks with a defibrillator.

Dr James Lilja. Courtesy of www.bayareago.com

The man was unconscious but had a pulse when paramedics arrived.  The man's current condition is unknown.

The incident, however, forced a mistrial in light of concerns the physician's heroics could bias other jurors. Current jurors were dismissed, and the case will be retried April 2.

Lilja faces medical malpractice charges filed by John and Stephenie Sargiotto in Alameda County Superior Court. The couple reportedly allege that Lilja was negligent in treating Stephenie Sargiotto, but no further details were immediately available.

Before medical school, Lilja was a drummer from 1984 to 1987 for the Orange County–based The Offspring and played on the band's 1986 debut single, "I'll Be Waiting." He left before the band realized mainstream success in the 1990s with hits including "Come Out and Play," "Self Esteem," and "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)," according to news reports.

According to his employer's website, Bay Area Gynecology and Oncology, Lilja received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to the University of Texas at Houston-MD Anderson Cancer Center for his internship and residency.  Following his residency, he completed his fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of Michigan.

He is chief medical officer and cofounder of Verthermia Inc, a medical device company investigating new treatments for metastatic cancer.

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