Christus seeks to designate responsible third party in med-mal

David Yates Feb. 24, 2012, 6:00am


Christus Health Southeast Texas recently filed a motion for leave to designate responsible third party in a lawsuit brought by Mark Kent, who alleges a nurse "inexcusably" changed the settings on his Hemovac drain.

The lawsuit, filed Feb. 25, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court, alleges that on Dec. 17, 2008, Kent was admitted to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth in Beaumont for back surgery.

In its motion filed Dec. 27, Christus asserts that "if anyone is responsible" it is Dr. Erwin Lo, who performed the procedure and allegedly breached the standard of care by failing to properly repair the spinal fluid leak caused by the surgery.

No ruling is on file as of Feb. 23.

During Kent's surgery, a Hemovac drain was placed in the surgical wound. A Hemovac drain is placed under the skin during surgery and continuously removes any blood or other fluids that might build up.

In the suit the plaintiff claims that on Feb. 19, 2008, a St. Elizabeth nurse changed the setting on the device without a physician's order.

Court records also show that on July 15 Christus filed its objection to the expert report of Dr. John Houten - a physician hired by the plaintiff to comply with the statutory requirements of Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Code.

In its objection, Christus asserts that Dr. Houten's report is filled with "blanket statements as to causation and injuries" and is "purely speculative."

Kent is suing for his alleged past and future medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, impairment, disfigurement and lost wages, plus all court costs.

Houston attorney Clint Lewis represents him.

Christus is represented by Curry Cooksey, attorney for the Orgain, Bell & Tucker law firm.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. B189-457

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