Estate of Glenda Thomas, et al. v. University Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a University of Louisville Hospital, et al.

Beth McMasters and Sara Clark Davis of McMasters Keith Butler, Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky received a defense verdict in Jefferson County on June 29, 2016 in the case of Estate of Glenda Thomas, et al. v. University Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a University of Louisville Hospital, et al.

In 2008, Glenda Thomas underwent an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion procedure at the University of Louisville Hospital, which was performed by a chief neurosurgical resident and attending neurosurgeon. Shortly after the procedure, the JP drain inserted at the end of the surgery became inadvertently dislodged during a postoperative X-ray. The PACU nurse notified the chief neurosurgical resident, who approved the patient’s discharge to the medical-surgical floor. That evening, Mrs. Thomas began to complain of some shortness of breath. The nursing staff called the 5th year neurosurgical resident on call, as well as the chief neurosurgical resident, to the floor. The physicians examined the patient and noted neck swelling and a small hematoma centered on the surgical incision. They ordered steroids and obtained a post-operative X-ray of the cervical spine. When the 5th year neurosurgical resident on call checked on Mrs. Thomas shortly thereafter, it was determined that Mrs. Thomas had clinically worsened, and that her trachea was now possibly deviated (whereas it had not been before). A decision was made to return to the OR for surgical evacuation of the hematoma. Before the patient could be taken to surgery, she suddenly lost her airway and coded. The hematoma was evacuated at bedside but attempts at intubation were unsuccessful. Mrs. Thomas was emergently taken to surgery where an airway was established. She subsequently died a few days later.

Suit was filed against University of Louisville Hospital, the two neurosurgical residents, and the attending neurosurgeon from the cervical fusion procedure. Mrs. McMasters and Mrs. Davis defended the case on behalf of the Hospital facility. The Plaintiffs’ legal representation at trial included Don Keenan of Atlanta, Georgia as lead counsel. Mr. Keenan is one of the co-authors of REPTILE: The 2009 Manual of the Plaintiff’s Revolution. The Plaintiffs sought in excess of 5 million dollars in damages, including past medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of spousal consortium. Following the Plaintiffs’ presentation of their case, the Court entered a directed verdict in favor of the Hospital with regards to Plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages, as well as the Plaintiffs’ claim that the resident physicians were the ostensible agents of the Hospital. After an eight-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of University of Louisville Hospital. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the attending neurosurgeon, and a 9-3 defense verdict in favor of the two resident physicians.

Mrs. McMasters and Mrs. Davis are members of the DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee.

NEWS & EVENTS
  • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys newest board certified attorney in medical malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

    Click here to read more >>

  • McMasters Keith Butler, Inc., receives national certification as a Women's Business Enterprise

    Click here to read entire press release


Legal Updates
  • Estate of Glenda Thomas, et al. v. University Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a University of Louisville Hospital, et al. - Beth McMasters and Sara Clark Davis of McMasters Keith Butler, Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky received a defense verdict in Jefferson County on June 29, 2016 in the case of Estate of Glenda Thomas, et al. v. University Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a University of Louisville Hospital, et al. Click here to read more >>
  • Medical Negligence - In a rare case of a high risk monoamniotic pregnancy, the plaintiff blamed her maternal fetal specialist and hospital nurses for failing to intervene in a timely fashion to appreciate an umbilical cord complication - one twin was stillborn and the other suffered a severe brain injury. Sims v. Norton Healthcare et al, 09-11899 Plaintiff: Bruce Maston, Albany, NY; Defense: Beth H. McMasters and Ashley J. Butler, McMasters Keith Butler, Louisville for Norton Hospital Scott P. Whonsetler, Whonsetler & Johnson, Louisville for Pietrantoni Verdict: Defense verdict on liability Court: Jefferson, J. Perry, 6-17-14
  • Medical Negligence - The plaintiff died of a pulmonary embolus at University Hospital after waiting for hours to be examined – her estate argued that had she been properly triaged and treated in a timely fashion, the fatal event could have been averted. Stout v. University Hospital, 08-13380 Plaintiff: Larry B. Franklin and Kelly J. Oates, The Franklin Law Group, Louisville and Brian S. Brownfield, Rosing & Brownfield, Louisville Defense: Beth H. McMasters and Ashley J. Butler, McMasters Keith Butler, Louisville Verdict: Defense verdict on liability Court: Jefferson, J. McDonald - Burkman, 6-27-13