Justices keep M.D. Anderson locked in med-mal over clinical trial death

By David Yates | Aug 7, 2017

HOUSTON – An appellate court recently found that the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center does not have governmental immunity in a medical malpractice complaint.

In 2013, Lance McKenzie filed suit against M.D. Anderson and others over the death of Courtney McKenzie-Thue, alleging she died because of negligence during a clinical trial.

M.D. Anderson appealed after a trial court denied its plea to the jurisdiction. The state entity had argued the plaintiffs’ allegations and jurisdictional evidence failed to establish a negligent use of tangible personal property as required to waive its governmental immunity under the Texas Tort Claims Act.

On Aug. 3, the 14th Court of Appeals concluded that the family’s allegations, coupled with the evidence presented, were sufficient to support a waiver of immunity, affirming the lower court’s ruling, court records show.

McKenzie-Thue suffered from advanced stage IV cancer of the appendix and received treatment from MDACC in December 2011. Following a procedure, she developed hyponatremia – a condition that occurs when the blood sodium level becomes abnormally low.

The plaintiffs are represented in part by Allan Brian.

M.D. Anderson is represented in part by Kevin Molina.

Harris County District Court case No. 2013-74868

Appeals case No. 14-16-00681-Cv

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