I have written on several occasions about the medical malpractice cases that are pending against Dr. John King and Putnam General Hospital, where he was employed from November 2002 until June 2003. In July, a jury found that Putnam General Hospital and its parent, HCA, are liable for negligently hiring and credentialing King to perform orthopedic surgery. I also wrote about a video that was mysteriously posted on YouTube, which purported to contain clips from certain plaintiffs’ depositions followed by clips from surveillance videos.
Two days ago, In the Sunday Gazette-Mail (Charleston, WV), Paul J. Nyden wrote that King has sued John Fitzpatrick and John Jessee, two of the lawyers who have represented Putnam General and HCA in the litigation, and their firm, LeClair Ryan. Jessee still practices at the firm, but Fitzpatrick left earlier this year and joined Wheeler Trigg Kennedy LLP in Denver. The suit was filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. King v. LeClair Ryan, et al., Civil Action No. 5:07-CV-00112-RS-AK.
In King’s complaint, which is accompanied by 17 exhibits, he basically alleges that the defendants’ defense of the hospital has adversely affected his ability to practice medicine and has been responsible for the adverse publicity he has received. The exhibits include copies of newspaper articles, correspondence, and pleadings from the underlying malpractice litigation. (Although King has legally changed his name from "John Anderson King" to "Christopher Wallace Martin," he identifies himself in the complaint as "John Christopher King.")
Counsel for John Jessee today filed a motion to dismiss and supporting memorandum on the grounds that Jessee has not committed any acts that would subject him to the court’s jurisdiction, nor does Jessee have sufficient minimum contacts with Florida to support an action against him there. There have been no responsive pleadings filed by or on behalf of LeClair Ryan or Fitzpatrick.
This is not the first lawsuit that King has brought against lawyers who have represented Putnam General Hospital. King has been a plaintiff in several lawsuits in federal court for the Southern District of West Virginia. He has sued, in various actions, a wide range of defendants, including multiple lawyers and law firms, Putnam General Hospital, its officers and directors, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Medical Association, and the Daily Gazette Company (which publishes the Charleston Gazette and the Daily Mail). All of the cases have been dismissed on the defendants’ motions, which is the same fate that will befall King’s lawsuit in Florida federal court.