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Wrongful death suit reopened for third trial

Those in Franklin might be interested in this wrongful death case that is being reopened by order of a judge. The State District Judge ordered a third trial involving the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center after cautioning the hospital's lawyer's actions in the previous trial.

According to the report, the patient in the case had been admitted to the hospital in November of 2008 with pancreatitis. The 20-year-old was given antibiotics initially, but the doctors discontinued the medications and released her from the hospital, according to the complaint registered by her father.

The woman was found unconscious in her home in December 2008, and she then died the following day at the hospital due to septicemia, according to his complaint. In the first trial, the jury found the hospital was negligent, but the jury was unable to reach an agreement for damages. The second trial resulted in the jury ruling in the favor of the hospital, but the trial was not acceptable to the judge. The judge, who presided over both trials, has ordered a third trial because of what he stated was misconduct by one of the defense lawyers the hospital used.

According to the judge, the defense had asked improper impeachment questions, made improper gratuitous comments, and made improper comments during closing, even after being warned previously. The judge had ruled a few questions unacceptable during the trial and stated that some of the improper comments about the witness's testimony had been audible for the jury.

In this case, a medical error may have cost the life of this 20-year-old girl. If someone close to you has passed away due to medical negligence and you suspect a wrongful death, seek advice. There may be legal options available.

Source:, "Judge grants new trial in wrongful-death case" Top Sharpe, Aug. 23, 2013

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