SE Texas Record

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Beaumont doc cleared of negligence following med-mal trial

By David Yates | Jun 19, 2019

Medical malpractice 05

BEAUMONT – A jury found no negligence on the part of a local physician who was sued more than two years after the death of a patient.

Artie Kettenbeil, representing the estate of Ralph Kettenbeil, filed suit against Dr. Msonthi Levine on Dec. 4, 2015 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show that on Sept. 23, 2013, Ralph Kettenbeil was admitted to Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas for Coumadin toxicity. 

Dr. Levine treated and reversed his toxicity and addressed concerns with Kettenbeil’s respiratory rate as possible complications with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or community acquired pneumonia.

Two days later, Dr. Levine discharged Kettenbeil. Five days after that, he returned to the hospital and was diagnosed with a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection that resulted in his death on Oct. 8, 2013.

The suit accuses Dr. Levine of breaching his duty of care in treating Kettenbeil’s pneumonia.

The case was called up for trial on June 12 and ended two days later with jurors concluding that neither Dr. Levine nor Kettenbeil was negligent.

No damages were awarded.

A few months before the case was called up for trial, Dr. Levine had moved for summary judgment, arguing the statute of limitations had elapsed, court records show.

The plaintiff is represented by Port Neches attorney Collin Cobb.

Judge Baylor Wortham, 136th District Court, presided over the trial.

Case No. D-197881

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Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Beaumont