By Grace Q. Bryant
The lawyers representing the Management of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), represented by its CEO, Jerry F. Brown, has filed a motion for a new trial, requesting the court to set aside the verdict handed down by the Jury over the weekend.
In their 22-count motion, filed before the Civil Law Court yesterday, they explained that the trial Jury, on October 27, brought down a unanimous verdict of liable against the JFK for US$1M as general damages, and US$3,178.76 as special damages.
JFK Lawyers further request that said verdict be set aside because it does not support the weight of the evidence adduced at trial; therefore, new trial be granted and ordered.
“That Chapter 26, sub-section 26.4 of the Civil Procedure Law provides that: After a trial by jury of a claim or issue, upon the motion of any party, the court may set aside a verdict and order a new trial of a claim or separable issue where the verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence or in the interest of justice. A motion under this section shall be made within four days after verdict,” JFK Lawyers noted.
Adding that no extension of time shall be granted for making a motion under this section.
Defendant furthered that the standard to which the Defendant’s conduct must conform in order that he shall escape from liability for harm done, may relate to (1) the recognition of the risk involved in his conduct, (2) the realization of the unreasonable character of the risk, and (3) the amount of care, skill, preparation, or warning which he must exercise, make, or give.” 57A Am Jury 2d, Section151.
The defendants noted that because the respondent failed to prove that JFK was
negligent in the risk, care, skill, or preparation of services provided during the surgery on June 13, 2019, and also because defendant JFK proved that standard of care was exercised, which was never refuted or rebutted by respondent, the trial jurors’ verdict is contrary to the weight of evidence adduced at trial. Hence, motion for new trial will lie.
The defendants further explained that the respondent did not prove damages for wrong when they attempted to prove medical malpractice by the evidence presented during the trial, which were refuted by the defendant, and the respondent failed to rebut same, the verdict is contrary to the weight of the evidence and must be set aside.
“That neither damages for wrong nor medical malpractice were established or shown in the Plaintiff’s Complaint or proven during trial to warrant the said verdict which was based on sentiments exhibited by respondent and therefore her counsels during trial and not based on the merit of the case, thus not in accordance with the weight of the evidence adduced for which the verdict should be set aside,” the defendant emphasized.
The defendants submitted that Civil Procedure Law Chapter 25.6, Best Evidence, text at page 198 states that, “The best evidence which the case admits must always be produced; that is no evidence is sufficient which supposes the existence of better evidence.”
It can be recalled that a US$1.5m in damages lawsuit was filed against the Management of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center (JFK) by a patient, Karen Gaydou Sehkelporh.
According to the complainant, Dr. Ernest Enders and Dr. Billy Johnson at the JFK Hospital performed an Abdominal Hysterectomy Surgery, which was needed to have her ovaries removed due to possible ovarian cancer.
However, after the surgery, she started experiencing pains in her belly and legs upon her return to work, and therefore informed Dr. Enders of the pains she was experiencing, and he advised her to go back to the JFK, where he gave her prescription drugs which she purchased from Lucky Pharmacy.
According to the complaint, the situation continued for over a period of five months, without any improvement, drained her financially, while Dr. Enders showed no interest in helping her out, despite being in constant communication with him.
She allegedly claimed that doctors at the hospital left an abdominal gauze in her body after a surgery, thereby causing further pains and complications.
She further explained that with the help of her boss, she sought additional checkup at Jahmale Health Center, which advised her to go back to JFK, as they opined that she had serious medical issues that needed to be addressed by JFK.
She then decided to visit Fidelity Health Center because of the severity of the pains.
There, she was admitted at Fidelity by Dr. Obed Dolo, through the arrangement with the Mitchell Group Inc. (TMG), to guarantee her stay at Fidelity, since she did not have money to make an initial deposit before getting admitted.
“She spent three weeks in isolation because of the level of bacteria that was in her system which could result to her death,” the complaint noted. There was also foul odor coming out of her body.
According to her, Dr. Dolo performed the surgery at Fidelity and opened the previous surgery done by Dr. Enders at the JFK to see what was the cause of her having pus in her belly that caused her stomach to swell.
“Plaintiff says that to the astonishment of the doctors, there was abdominal gauze found inside her body, with pieces of her flesh stuck on it,” she stated in the complaint.
She lamented that when JFK Management was informed about the incident, they only expressed regrets without helping in her recovery.
When the case was called for trial, the both parties produced evidences and therefore went into arguments, and later, the six trial Jury went into deliberations and they came to a unanimous verdict against JFK.