Medical defendants appeal court's decision not to dismiss

David Yates Feb. 14, 2012, 4:21am

An order to stay discovery was recently issued by the Ninth Court of Appeals in a medical malpractice complaint against several medical defendants.

As previously reported, Wyoming Newman filed suit April 11 in Jefferson County District Court against Dr. Erwin Lo, Golden Triangle Neurocare and Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, alleging she was left a quadriplegic following spinal surgery.

As required by Texas Civil law, Newman filed a medical expert report, authored by nurse Rita Restrepo, on July 5 to substantiate her claim, court records show.

Defendants Lo and GTN objected to the report and filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied by Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, on Nov. 18.

Court records show that on Dec. 22 the Ninth Court issued an order to stay discovery while justices evaluated an accelerated appeal brought by Lo and GTN.

The appeal was filed Dec. 8 and is set for submission on briefs for Feb. 29.

According to the lawsuit, Newman visited a neurosurgeon, Dr. Chavis, following an automobile accident in 2007.

Court records show that Newman has a separate lawsuit against the business she holds responsible for causing the collision, Calder Cleaners.

Dr. Lo performed spinal surgery on Newman on Jan. 28, 2009 -- more than one year after the initial MRI, according to the complaint. However, he failed to properly interpret the MRI results and performed a corpectomy instead of taking Chavis' recommendations.

As a result, Newman woke up with no feeling in her legs and a weak sensation in her arms, the complaint says.

The suit alleges Baptist Hospital is also negligent because of its failure to properly assess and monitor Newman following her surgery and its failure to go up the chain of command when Dr. Lo elected not to take immediate action, according to the complaint.

Clay Dugas and Mike Jacobellis of Clay Dugas and Associates in Beaumont represent Newman.

Woodlands attorney Curry Cooksey of Orgain Bell & Tucker represent Baptist.

Houston attorneys James R. Boston Jr. and Gary Sommer represent Lo and GTN.

Case No. E189-7513

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