A 70-year-old man lost his life more than two years ago after undergoing hernia surgery. Now, the late Burton Richard's family is suing the doctor who performed the surgery for lost inheritance.
Alice Richard, representing the estate of Burton, filed the Richard family's medical-malpractice suit against Dr. John Schmidt on May 16 in the Jefferson County District Court.
According to the plaintiffs' petition, on March 2, 2006, Burton underwent extended right hemicolectomy surgery at the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, where he also received follow-up care. Dr. Schmidt performed the surgery.
The suit is not clear on what happened following the surgery, but apparently Burton bled out and died, "as a result of the negligence of defendant."
"Plaintiff and wrongful death beneficiaries have suffered the loss of inheritance including the loss of present value of the assets that Decedent, in reasonable probability would have added to the estate and left at natural death," the suit says.
"During his lifetime, decedent was industrious and energetic, a good husband, gave advice, counsel, comfort, care, and protection to his wife. In all reasonable probability, he would have continued to do so. At his death decedent possessed assets and accumulated savings from his past earnings, which, in all reasonable probability, he would have continued to accumulate for the remainder of his natural life."
The suit alleges Dr. Schmidt committed the following acts of negligence:
The Richard family is also suing for mental anguish and loss of companionship, plus funeral expenses.
The family is represented by attorney Brian Sutton of Sutton & Jacobs.
Sutton writes in the suit that Texas' med-mal caps are unconstitutional.
Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th Judicial District, has been assigned to the case.
Case No. D181-767