Thursday, November 19, 2015
Appeal Filed in Vanderbilt Malpractice Case
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A notice of appeal has been filed in the case of an accident victim who had charged that he was prematurely discharged from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and lost his leg as a result.
The notice was filed in behalf of Patrick Miller, a Robertson County resident who was severely injured in a 2010 motorcycle accident and airlifted to Vanderbilt for treatment.
Circuit Court Judge Thomas Brothers recently issued a directed verdict in favor of Vanderbilt on all Miller's claims including medical malpractice and punitive damages.
Miller's lawyers said in the notice that they also were appealing Brother's decision to bar them from presenting evidence that Miller was prematurely discharged "because of his lack of health insurance."
Miller, then 33, underwent multiple surgeries between Oct. 22 and Nov. 5, 2010 when he was discharged to his home.
Two days later he returned and was found to have a massive infection leading to the amputation of his right leg, according to court records.
The directed verdict came after Vanderbilt's attorneys asked for dismissal on the grounds that the complaint did not properly identify the treating physician.
Court records show multiple physicians were involved in Miller's care.
Vanderbilt, in its filings, said those physicians "complied with the applicable standard of care."
"His (Miller's) injuries were severe and nothing the Vanderbilt surgeons did or failed to do caused the injury to Patrick Miller that otherwise would not have occurred," the hospital attorneys stated.
Miller's lawyers argued that Vanderbilt should have delayed the discharge due to a rising white blood cell count. They also charged that plans to discharge Miller to another health facility rather than to his home were abandoned once they learned he had no insurance.