Following a two week trial, a jury has determined that Putnam General Hospital is liable for hiring and credentialing Dr. John King, who is a defendant in more than 110 medical malpractice lawsuits. Last month, I wrote about the lawsuit and the controversy surrounding Dr. King’s employment.
According to the (Charleston) Daily Mail, the jury deliberated for about an hour before determining that Putnam General Hospital (now known as CAMC Teays Valley Hospital) will be a co-defendant with King in 122 lawsuits against him, based on its negligence in hiring him and giving him privileges to perform orthopedic surgery. The jury also determined that the plaintiffs can seek punitive damages against Putnam General. The medical malpractice trials start in September.
This verdict is a blow to Hospital Corporation of America, Inc., which formerly owned Putnam General, and has been trying to put as much distance between itself and Dr. King as possible. I noted in my earlier post that Judge O. C. Spaulding had ruled that the plaintiffs’ lawyers would not be permitted to mention HCA’s formerly ownership of Putnam General or that HCA had paid an $840 million fine in December 2000 for alleged unlawful Medicare and Medicaid billing practices.