Texas Health Presbyterian Flower Mound found liable in $10.1 million verdict
DALLAS – A Dallas County jury has delivered a $10.1 million verdict against Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound for “willful and wanton” negligence that led to the permanent paralysis of a Flower Mound woman.
The injury occurred March 21, 2019, when Judy “Jessie” Adams experienced an epidural hemorrhage as a complication from an epidural steroid injection by a pain management doctor. Mrs. Adams was taken to Presbyterian Flower Mound for emergency treatment.
Jurors found the hospital staff delayed Mrs. Adams’ treatment in conscious disregard of patient safety resulting in permanent paralysis of her lower extremities. Evidence and testimony presented at trial showed the nursing staff and radiology staff failed to coordinate and communicate regarding a STAT order for an MRI that took two and a half hours.
Systemic failures to follow hospital policies resulted in dozens of breaches of hospital policy and another two and a half hours to get Mrs. Adams to surgery, despite hospital policy requiring emergency surgeries to commence within one hour. The extreme delays resulted in catastrophic, permanent neurological injury.
“This case represents a calamity of delays and institutional failures to follow policies designed for patient safety. Now, Jessie Adams will be forced to live as a paraplegic for the rest of her life – a fate she does not deserve,” says Michael Lyons of the Dallas-based trial firm of Lyons & Simmons. “Our hope is this verdict will shine a light on a situation that needs extensive improvement and better leadership, or more people are going to get hurt at this hospital.”
Hospital liability for emergency medical services is governed by Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §74.153 and requires the heightened standard of proof of “willful and wanton negligence” which is similar to gross negligence. The higher standard makes emergency room cases very difficult for plaintiffs to recover making this result even more compelling than an ordinary negligence case.
The case is Adams v. Texas Hospital Partners Flower Mound, LLC d/b/a Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Flower Mound, No. 20-17490 in the 68th State District Court in Dallas County.
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