Malpractice suit claims doctors delay of treatment caused complications

Kelly Holleran Jan. 14, 2009, 3:35am

A Beaumont couple has filed suit against Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital and two of its doctors, alleging the man suffered multiple injuries after doctors delayed seeing him for several hours.

According to the complaint filed Jan. 9 in Jefferson County District Court, Ronald Lee Phillips Sr. was admitted to Memorial Hermann on Oct. 29, 2006, after having a seizure at his home, and another seizure in the ambulance en route to the hospital.

The suit states that Phillips' doctors, Dr. Darella Cooper and Dr. Jeffrey Klem, were informed of his symptoms late that night but delayed seeing him until morning.

"At some point shortly after admission, Defendant Klem was informed of Plaintiff Ronald Phillips' admittance and condition including his altered cardiac enzymes indicating a potential heart attack, however Dr. Klem failed to timely respond and delayed seeing Plaintiff for several hours until the next morning," the suit states.

His doctors also failed to consider his medical history when they ordered tests and tried to diagnose him, the suit claims.

While Phillips was in the hospital, Dr. Cooper informed his wife, Fredericka, he was stable and that nothing else could be done to improve his condition, neither of which was true, according to the complaint. Fredericka Phillips is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

During the night, Phillips suffered a myocardial infarction resulting in severe physical and mental injuries and remained a patient at the hospital until mid-November 2006, the suit states.

Throughout his hospital stay, Phillips developed a Stage 3 decubitus ulcer and a staphylococcus aureus infection because of the hospital and its employees' failure to monitor, treat and care for him, the plaintiffs claim.

Because of the doctors' actions, Phillips experienced physical pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, physical disfigurement and incurred medical expenses, according to the complaint.

Fredericka Phillips suffered mental anguish, loss of consortium and loss of services, she claims.

Memorial Hermann Baptist Beaumont Hospital, Cooper and Klem were negligent by failing to properly assess, evaluate and treat Ronald Lee Phillips Sr., by failing to timely diagnose and treat him, by failing to take reasonable and probably preventative measure, by failing to timely order, review and respond to test results and by failing to monitor Ronald Phillip's condition, according to the complaint.

The hospital and doctors also violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by engaging in false, misleading and deceptive acts that the Phillips relied on to their detriment.

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified actual, exemplary, treble and compensatory damages within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus attorneys' fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by Fredericka Allen of Sugar Land.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A182-980

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