Parents file wrongful death case against Christus, doctor

David Yates Oct. 28, 2010, 4:00am

The parents of the late Ethen Bulls have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Christus Hospital St. Mary and Dr. Michael Crossley, claiming a missed skull fracture led to their son's death.

Sharon and Matt Bulls filed the suit Oct. 25 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show that in the morning of Nov. 15, 2008, Ethen was involved in a serious fall from the garage apartment where his family resides. His mother immediately rushed him to Christus St. Mary in Port Arthur, where he was treated by Dr. Crossley.

The suit does not state how Ethen fell from the Bridge City garage apartment.

Dr. Crossley ordered bilateral orbit X-rays. Sharon also requested a CT scan but the doctor opted not to perform one and discharged Ethen, court papers say.

According to the plaintiffs, Dr. Crossley called Sharon Bulls later that day to inform her that Ethen may have a skull fracture, but she claims the doctor advised her not to return him to the emergency room because nothing could be done.

The following day, Ethen began having a seizure and his mother rushed him back to St. Mary. It was then discovered that Ethen had developed meningitis from the head injury.

"Unfortunately, due to the delay caused by the negligence of defendants, Ethen died as a result of the undiagnosed skull fracture and the onset of bacterial meningitis," the suit states.

The Bullses are suing for all wrongful death damages allowed under law.

They are represented by Orange attorney David Dies of Dies & Parkhurst.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E188-669

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