Attorneys for a widower who won an $8.5 million medical malpractice verdict against Community Hospital North have filed a motion to challenge a state law that could reduce the award to $1.25 million.
John Muller of Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy and Mike Stephenson of McNeely, Stephenson, Thopy & Harold today in a news release announced the filing of the challenge in Marion Circuit Court.
They said their challenge is based on sections of the Indiana Constitution that a jury’s decision must remain intact, and the General Assembly cannot grant privileges or immunities to any citizen or class of citizens.
The judge in the case has yet to make a formal judgment on the amount of the award. The verdict was issued by a jury Sept. 3 in the case of Debbie Plank, 47, a McCordsville, IN mother of three. She died in 2001 after Community Hospital of Indianapolis failed to promptly get an X-ray to doctors that showed she had a dangerous bowel obstruction, her family’s lawyers claimed.
The cap was last raised by the state legislature in 1998, when it went up from $750,000.
“The widower of McCordsville, Indiana was angered when the hospital contacted him with a customer satisfaction survey after his wife’s death and wanted to talk to her about how she liked her care while in the hospital,” the lawyers’ release said. “The hospital representative asked him, ‘Are you satisfied with the hospital’s care?’ The plaintiff said he didn’t file the lawsuit for the money, but rather the lack of awareness of the error and lack of apology from the hospital.”
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