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St. Joseph Hospital to Pay $1.45 Million in Damages

Posted on Mar 6, 2012 10:12am PST

A three-week long trial has finally ended and a verdict has been reached in regards to the lawsuit that was filed against St. Joseph Hospital concerning the wrongful death of patient J.M. Gray in 1999. The controversial trial was held in the Fayette Circuit Court where a jury ultimately ruled for $1.45 million to be paid in punitive damages to the estate of the deceased. The lawsuit centered around the patient's death, which occurred in 1999, after the paraplegic was prematurely discharged.

St. Joseph Hospital, along with two doctors, three nurses, and a physician's assistant, were all sued by Gray's estate in 2000. Brought against the medical professionals were accusations of inadequate care and an overall lack of attention which ultimately led to the 39-year old's death. Included in the claims brought against the hospital and the healthcare professionals were allegations of "patient dumping," a practice sometimes used by doctors in which patients in need are turned away due to not being insured or being underinsured. Furthermore, it was alleged that the man's symptoms were disregarded and his blood test results were pushed aside as the hospital and its staff attempted to get rid of the patient.

Gray held a criminal record, and it is speculated that this fact could have played a great role in the hospital's eagerness to send him on his way, despite his need for medical treatment. The paraplegic, who was shot as a teenager and permanently disabled, entered the Emergency Room of the hospital on April 8, 1999 for constipation, vomiting, and general abdominal pain. Gray was given an enema and some pain medication for his symptoms before being discharged. According to reports, Gray returned to the hospital the next day in even more pain, stating that he had vomited blood all night long. Lab work was done which yielded results indicating that he was severely ill, but the hospital again discharged him. Only hours later, Gray passed away while at a friend's house, cause of death was a ruptured peptic ulcer and peritonitis.

For 12 years, the claims made in the Gray lawsuit have been vehemently fought by both the hospital and its staff. However, the case has finally been put to rest as the estate of Gray was awarded more than one million dollars in settlements after its latest trial (the result of appeals). Now, the friends and family of J.M. Gray can begin to properly mourn the loss of their loved one knowing that his death has been recognized as one of wrongdoing. The same can be done for you if you have lost a loved one or been seriously injured by a medical professional's lack of proper care.

Lanier Law Group, P.A. has been practicing personal injury law for more than 15 years and, combined, our firm's team has more than 65 years of experience that can be put to work for the clients we serve. There may be no one who better understands the pain and suffering – both emotional and physical – that can be caused when a patient is mistreated by a doctor, surgeon, or any other type of healthcare provider. Therefore, we are dedicated to helping such victims obtain compensation for the wrongs that were enacted against them. With the help of a North Carolina personal injury attorney from our firm, you can file a medical malpractice suit against the responsible party and seek damages for the harms that were inflicted on you by a professional who was supposed to be catering to your health. No matter where you are in the state, we can come to you so do not hesitate to contact a North Carolina medical malpractice lawyer from our firm today for the legal help you need and deserve.

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