Commonwealth Journal

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March 31, 2014

$10.6 million judgment returned in medical malpractice lawsuit


Somerset —

“When hospital administration belatedly reviewed ... Husted’s performance, they excused his provable neglect and allowed the program to continue when it should have been shut down,” states the memorandum for the plaintiffs. “The cost for this inexcusable collapse in patient safety was paid for by (Dixon) with her life ...”
According to documents provided by the plaintiffs through the pre-trial memorandum, the hospital actually moved to limit the procedures within the hospital’s bariatric program on Feb. 11, 2010 — less than a month after Dixon’s death. 
“Plaintiffs’ witnesses will establish that the hospital was obliged to shut down the program when, after finally looking at ... Husted’s surgeries, it determined that 28 (percent) to 31 (percent) of the patients ... Husted operated upon suffered a reportable complication,” states the memorandum. 
The memorandum also points out that of the nearly 150 patients Husted operated on during his time in Somerset, four patients, including Dixon, died due to complications. 
Whether that complication rate and mortality rate are acceptable in a bariatric program were disputed between the plaintiffs and the defense teams. But the memorandum points out that another bariatric surgeon and an expert witness, retained by Husted’s team, testified that his mortality rate, as of the trial, stood at two patients for more than 2,000 surgeries. 
In a related note, three civil lawsuits currently pending in U.S. Eastern District Court in London accuse Husted and LCRH of similar actions stemming from three 2009 bariatric surgeries — August 2009, July 2009, and September 2009. In those cases, plaintiffs contend that they suffered substantial injury by Husted. 
In another case, Husted is the only named party. In that lawsuit, Husted is accused of causing serious injury to two separate women through two 2009 bariatric surgeries. The hospital was initially named a defendant in that lawsuit, but it and the plaintiffs have since settled.
In Dixon’s case her family contended that she had been led to believe that the bariatric program was a safe one, and that Husted was a competent surgeon. 

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