Convicted felon seeks $1.5M from Texas City hospital

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 3, 2010, 2:32pm

GALVESTON - A Galveston County man who was recently sentenced to life in prison for a crash that killed two teenagers last year has filed a $1.5 million medical malpractice suit against Mainland Medical Center.

Jim Howard III claims the emergency room staff at the Texas City hospital inflicted permanent damages to his leg by breaking his femur bone. His suit was filed Oct. 27 in Galveston County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, Howard was being treated as a result of the March 21, 2009, wreck in which he was involved that claimed the lives of 17-year-olds Samantha Romero and Raquel Martinez and injured two other young girls.

The Galveston County 122nd District Court convicted Howard of intoxicated manslaughter and intoxicated assault last month.

According to court papers, Howard emerged from the two-car accident without assistance and was immediately taken to Mainland Medical Center.

X-rays showed that his right leg and right hip area were knocked out of place because of the impact of the wreck, the original complaint says.

Howard argues that the X-rays did not show any injury to the femur, and the treating physicians and nurses at the time did not explain to him the process of popping his leg and hip back into place.

The plaintiff further explains that a female medical worker climbed onto his bed and pulled twice, the procedure causing a loud popping noise.

Howard, who is representing himself in the case, was wheeled back for X-rays which later revealed that his femur was broken.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-4039

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