Doc accused of failing to catch appendicitis seeks to limit damages

David Yates May 11, 2012, 7:55am


An area physician recently answered a medical malpractice complaint, in which he denies the allegations and seeks to limit the plaintiff's damages.

As previously reported, Lesley Bass filed suit against Dr. William Hawkins on July 25 in Jefferson County District Court, alleging he failed to catch her appendicitis.

Dr. Hawkins filed an amended answer on April 17, generally denying the plaintiff's allegations, court papers say.

The answer also "invokes his legal right to a reduction of any dollar verdict which may be rendered" against him.

The lawsuit alleges that on Aug. 18, 2010 Bass visited Dr. Hawkins with complaints of abdominal pain. During her examination, Dr. Hawkins failed to diagnose her with appendicitis and failed to order any follow up exams.

Bass claims she sought a second opinion and was then diagnosed with appendicitis and immediately scheduled for surgery. However, the delay caused the appendix to rupture.

An open laparotomy was performed and part of Bass' large bowel had to be removed, the suit states.

Dr. Hawkins is accused of negligently failing to preform a detailed exam and falling below the standard of care.

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

She is represented by Beaumont attorney Adam Terrell of the Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell.

Houston attorney Matthew Prewett of Shepherd, Scott, Clawater & Houston represents Hawkins.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. D190-575

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