Tuesday, July 9, 2013

That's a lot of moolah

Posted By on Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Memorial Hospital has settled several cases of late, including a wrongful death case involving two doctors, according to the city's most recent legal report. Here's a rundown, from highest to lowest payout:

Irma Bennett sued Dr. Bryan Mahan, Dr. Burt Fowler, a physician's assistant who was later dropped from the case, and Memorial Health System in 2011, alleging:

that her husband presented to Memorial Health System for aortic valve replacement secondary to aortic stenosis, which was performed by Defendant Mahan. Plaintiff alleges that following surgery and during his post-operative treatment, his care was transferred to Dr. Fowler. Plaintiff alleges that despite her husband’s vital signs and presentation being outside of normal ranges following surgery, as well his complaints of pain and nausea and the performance of blood transfusion, he lost consciousness and died. Settlement: $800,000

Evelyn Ashe sued the city and Memorial in 2011, alleging:

that while undergoing an MRI at Memorial Hospital, she was told by the technician to step down from the table. Plaintiff alleges that she did not realize the table she was on was elevated and that she could not reach the floor. Plaintiff alleges that she suffered fractures to her hip and hip and a result of her fall and Defendant’s negligence. Settlement: $75,000.

Malachy Cortez sued Memorial in 2012, alleging:

that on July 28, 2011, he slipped and fell in the foyer of the emergency department at Memorial Central. He claims rainwater accumulated inside of the first set of automatic doors to the emergency department. He claims to have injured his arm and elbow and cannot work. Settlement: $8,000.

Rosa Falu-Carrion sued Dr. Orderia Mitchell and Memorial in 2012, alleging

Defendants Mitchell and Memorial failed to properly direct and treat Plaintiff for injuries.... Dr. Mitchell was dismissed on 2/14/13. Settlement: costs of $5,557.10.

It should be said that Memorial is insured for some losses, so it might not have paid all of the above settlements out of its bank accounts.

All of those cases arose when Memorial was still subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, so that's why we know about them. But since Octo. 1, 2012, Memorial has been under a 40-year lease to the University of Colorado Health, which makes it not subject to disclosure laws. Result: We will know when a case is filed, because court filings are generally open. But when there's a settlement, we probably won't know about it. Litigants often settle and then agree not to disclose the settlement. When public agencies are involved, they're barred by law from hiding such things.

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