Notice of non-suit filed in suit claiming doctor’s own terminal illness led to error

By David Yates | Feb 14, 2013

A Hardin County woman has non-suited the defendants in her suit, which claimed she was forced to endure multiple surgeries after a cancer-stricken doctor failed to install the correct device into her spine. 

As previously reported, Rose Hickman filed a lawsuit March 27, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court against Medical Opinions and the estate of Dr. Carl Shrontz.

Court records show Hickman filed a notice of non-suit on July 23, non-suiting the defendants without prejudice.

In her suit, Hickman claimed a weak and extremely ill Dr. Shrontz failed to place the correct sized plate and screws into her spine during an operation on Jan. 12, 2010.

She alleged Dr. Shrontz should never have operated on Hickman because of his fragile state, according to the complaint.

“Dr. Shrontz was so weak at the time of this surgery from the cancer and the cancer treatments he had been receiving that immediately following the procedure, he had a nurse go out and get Mrs. Hickman’s family that were in the waiting room and have them brought back to his desk where he was sitting, thoroughly weakened and exhausted,” the suit states.

One week following the surgery, Dr. Shrontz died, the complaint says.

After the surgery, Hickman discovered the wrong size plate and screws had been placed in her spine, and she was required to undergo another procedure to correct Dr. Shrontz’s mistake, according to the complaint.

Hickman was seeking an unspecified judgment, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Craig Lewis and John J. Brothers of The Lewis Law Firm in Houston represent her.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. A192-229

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