A jury recently returned a verdict of $21.2 million against a national
hospital chain, Catholic Health Initiatives, and one of its facilities,
St. Joseph Hospital London, finding that the hospital and its parent company
were negligent, failed to obtain informed consent, violated the Kentucky
Consumer Protection Act, and engaged in a conspiracy to aid and abet doctors
to commit unlawful acts. The verdict included $20 million in punitive
damages against the company and hospital, who were accused of conspiring
with cardiologists to perform unnecessary heart surgeries.
The plaintiff, a milk truck driver, filed the lawsuit after claiming that
one of his doctors unnecessarily implanted a pacemaker in his chest. According
to his attorneys, the hospital formed a joint venture with local cardiologists
that provided them with incentives to perform certain procedures, and
failed to put in any safeguards to ensure that procedures were justified.
Evidence showed that the company anticipated profiting $90 million over
three years from heart procedures, and that executives were given bonuses
based on revenue and productivity.
The plaintiff’s cardiologist advised him that removing the pacemaker
would be extremely dangerous because of the wires that go into his chest.
He also suffered a debilitating shoulder condition after the procedure
that left him immobilized for four months.
The Tom Rhodes Law Firm represents hundreds of clients in similar lawsuits
against CHI and Saint Joseph London.
The doctor who implanted the pacemaker in the plaintiff was indicted on
criminal fraud charges in June – charges that were related to a
scheme involving another cardiologist, who was sentenced to 2.5 years
in prison for exaggerating the severity of patients’ illnesses in
order to ensure reimbursement for the procedures.
Attorneys Tom Rhodes,
Erin Oglesby, and
Sam Royston of Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. co-represented the plaintiff in this case,
along with Gary Hudson of London, KY and Hans Poppe of Louisville, KY.
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Tom Rhodes Law Firm handles medical malpractice cases throughout the country.
In the last eleven months, the firm has achieved three eight-figure verdicts
and one seven-figure verdict.