Defendants go separate ways in med-mal complaint

David Yates Dec. 20, 2010, 6:43am

In October, two hospitals and a physician had their respective motions to dismiss denied by Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Since that time, defendants Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital, Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth and Dr. Derrick M. Myers have pursued different legal avenues in hopes of ending the litigation.

As the Southeast Texas Record previously reported, plaintiff Kathy Keegan sued the defendants in April, alleging her father would still be alive if the care providers had recognized he was bleeding to death.

Although all three defendants claim Keegan's medical expert report is inadequate, the parties have selected different strategies to make their case.

At first, Baptist Hospital and St. Elizabeth opted to appeal the October ruling, arguing Judge Floyd erred in dismissing their motions, court papers say.

However, on Thursday, Dec. 16 the Ninth Court of Appeals issued an opinion stating Baptist filed a motion to dismiss its appeal, leaving St. Elizabeth alone to challenge the judge's ruling.

The opinion does not state why Baptist withdrew, and as of Dec. 20, no notice of non-suit has been filed in Jefferson County District Court.

On Nov. 29 Dr. Myers filed a second motion to dismiss, arguing that Keegan has failed to comply with Judge Floyd's Oct. 28 order to amend her medical expert report, court records show.

Dr. Myers filed his first motion in August challenging the sufficiently of the plaintiff's expert report, authored by Dr. Frank Meissner.

Although Judge Floyd denied the defendants' motions, he gave Keegan 30 days to amend her report, court records show.

"To date, plaintiff still has not served defendant with compliant expert report," Myers' second motion states.

In his first motion to dismiss, Dr. Myers argued Dr. Meissner was not qualified to testify on emergency medicine or surgery.

In her suit, Keegan claims her father, David Barrow, underwent a cardiac catherization on April 16, 2009. Three days later, Barrow had a syncopal episode at home and was transported to Memorial Hermann where he was admitted to the emergency department under the care of Dr. Myers.

Later that day Barrow was transferred to Christus Hospital in Beaumont.

"There was no Memorandum of Transfer, and no explanation as to why Mr. Barrow was transferred as opposed to receiving further care at Baptist Hospital," the suit states. "Likewise, there was no evaluation of the risks and benefits of the transfer."

The suit goes on to say that at Christus Hospital, a CT scan revealed Barrow's abdomen and pelvis had a large, ill-defined hematoma in his thigh and lower groin region, the complaint says.

Court records show that at 11:40 p.m., April 19, 2009, while Barrow was still in the Christus Hospital emergency department, he became unresponsive and was intubated, Keegan claims. At 12:35 a.m., he was moved from the emergency department to the intensive care unit.

At 5 a.m., Barrow died after Sooudi ordered emergency officials not to resuscitate him, the suit states.

An autopsy revealed Barrow died from a leak in his catheter insertion site that should have been treated shortly after his arrival at Baptist Orange Hospital at 10:30 a.m., April 19, the complaint says.

Giles Kibbe of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell in Beaumont represents Keegan.

Dr. Myers is represented by attorney Joel Sprott of the Munisteri, Sprott, Rigby, Newsom & Robbins law firm of Houston.

Baptist is represented by Beaumont attorney James R. Old Jr.

Trial case No. E186-481
Appeals case No. 09-10-00480-CV

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