Appeals court rejects Christus' motion to dismiss

David Yates May 25, 2011, 4:00am


Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth on Thursday lost an appeal which sought to reverse a lower court's failure to grant its motion to dismiss a medical malpractice suit.

On April 6, 2010, Kathy Keegan filed the suit against Memorial Hermann Baptist Orange Hospital, Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth and Drs. Derrick M. Myers and Steven K. Sooudi.

Keegan alleges her father, David Barrow, would still be alive if the care providers had recognized that he was bleeding to death.

On Nov. 23 Christus filed a motion to dismiss, challenging the sufficiently of the plaintiff's expert reports.

Under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Code, plaintiffs are required to submit an expert report when filing medical malpractice complaints.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, denied the motion, court papers say.

Christus appealed the ruling, arguing that the reports fail to show causation.

The Ninth Court issued a memorandum opinion on May 19, stating that each of the plaintiff's experts practiced the type of care or treatment relevant to the care delivered to the late David Barrow, court papers say.

"The trial court could reasonably conclude plaintiff provided reports from experts qualified to give expert opinions applicable in this case," writes Justice David Gaultney.

"Plaintiff provided reports from three qualified physicians explaining the alleged failures of the hospital. The trial court did not abuse its discretion. The order denying the motion to dismiss is affirmed."

Case background

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.

He died three days later.

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.

Keegan is suing for all wrongful death damages allowable under law.

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

Christus is represented by Houston attorneys Leah A. Greene and Edward J. Kroger of Kroger & Frisby.

Case No. E186-481

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