Plaintiffs reach agreements with Christus, doctor in wrongful death case

By David Yates | Oct 19, 2011

Two medical defendants have reached separate agreements with plaintiffs in a wrongful death claim.

As previously reported, Sharon and Matt Bulls, the parents of the late Ethen Bulls, filed suit against Christus Hospital St. Mary and Dr. Michael Crossley on Oct. 25, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court, claiming a missed skull fracture led to their son's death.

On June 7 the plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss Christus, stating that they no longer wished to pursue their claim against the hospital based on the evidence obtained during discovery.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted the motion two days later, dismissing Christus with prejudice.

Court records also show that on June 8 the plaintiffs reached an agreed partial final judgment with Dr. Crossley.

According to the lawsuit, on Nov. 15, 2008, Ethen was involved in a serious fall from the garage apartment where his family resides. His mother immediately rushed him to Christus St. Mary in Port Arthur, where he was treated by Dr. Crossley.

The suit does not state how Ethen fell from the Bridge City garage apartment.

Dr. Crossley ordered bilateral orbit X-rays. Sharon also requested a CT scan but the doctor opted not to perform one and discharged Ethen, court papers say.

The plaintiffs alleged Dr. Crossley called Sharon Bulls later that day to inform her that Ethen may have a skull fracture, but she claims the doctor advised her not to return him to the emergency room because nothing could be done.

Ethen began having a seizure the following day and his mother rushed him back to St. Mary. It was then discovered that Ethen had developed meningitis from the head injury.

"Unfortunately, due to the delay caused by the negligence of defendants, Ethen died as a result of the undiagnosed skull fracture and the onset of bacterial meningitis," the suit states.

The plaintiffs are represented by Orange attorney David Dies of Dies & Parkhurst.

Case No. E188-669

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