Commonwealth Journal

News Live

March 31, 2014

$10.6 million judgment returned in medical malpractice lawsuit


Somerset —

After Pamela Dixon’s death on Jan. 13, 2010, an autopsy revealed her pelvis “ ... was full of purulent green pus, in the area of the liver and the pelvis. ... Her intestines were full of adhesions and virtually falling apart,” according to the plaintiffs’ memorandum. 
The trial began on Feb. 10, 2014 with the expected 12 jurors and two alternates. But between Feb. 10 and Feb. 28, two jurors had been dismissed and third had suffered a medical emergency. The plaintiffs and defendants opted to continue on with 11 jurors, with the stipulation that nine jurors must agree on the verdicts as per state law.
The jury, in a unanimous decision, stated they believed LCRH and its employees failed to exercise the care and skill expected of the hospital in Dixon’s case, and they stated they felt that failure has a significant impact in Dixon’s case. 
The jury also unanimously stated that Husted failed to exercise the care and skill ordinarily expected of him in providing care to Dixon — and they stated that the failure “was a substantial factor” in the outcome of Dixon’s case. 
The jury recommended a $10,658,265 judgment, to be split between Husted and LCRH. Jurors, in determining the percentages of fault in the case, determined LCRH to be 60 percent at fault, and Husted to be 40 percent at fault. 
That means that, should Pulaski Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette sign off on the judgment, LCRH will be held responsible for $6,394,959. Husted, who during the litigation process declared bankruptcy, will be responsible for $4,263,306. 
The hospital on Monday stated in a short statement that it cannot comment on the case because “there may be an appeal of the decision.”
But the statement did point out that Husted “no longer lives in Somerset or practices at the hospital.”
Husted operated through the hospital’s bariatric program for around a year and four months. 

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