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Testimony Begins in Medical Malpractice Case Against Santa Fe Hospital

Posted in Firm News

A medical malpractice case against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center is currently under way in Santa Fe. Testimony regarding the May 2008 back surgery performed on Matt McCann began on Tuesday. 35-year-old McCann and his former wife, Stephanie, filed a lawsuit against the hospital in December 2010 alleging Matt sustained internal bleeding as a result of a physician’s error. According to the lawsuit, Dr. Hal Hankinson negligently cut too deeply when he removed a herniated disc from McCann’s back. The cut allegedly resulted in damage to two of McCann’s arteries which required emergency surgery as well as two additional surgeries. McCann reportedly bled internally for 36 hours and suffered a cardiac arrest before the alleged medical error was discovered.

In his lawsuit, McCann alleges he sustained a neurological injury that has placed him at risk for additional complications in the future. The injury also reportedly strained McCann’s relationship with his wife and ultimately led to the couple’s divorce. Prior to commencement of testimony, District Court Judge Sarah Singleton issued an order granting the injured patient and his now ex-wife summary judgment against Dr. Hankinson, finding that the physician was negligent when he performed McCann’s back surgery and also caused the injuries to McCann’s arteries. The jury in the case will be tasked with determining the level of damages Mc0Cann suffered as a result of the physician’s negligence. Additionally, the jury must determine whether the actions of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center’s employees during and immediately following McCann’s surgery demonstrated “corporate disregard” for patient safety. If the jury answers that question in the affirmative, punitive damages may be awarded to the McCanns.

Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center has reportedly preserved its right to appeal Judge Singleton’s ruling regarding Dr. Hankinson’s negligence in performing the surgery. According to the hospital, the blame for McCann’s injuries should rest solely on the surgeon. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center has maintained that none of McCann’s injuries resulted from the negligence of its employees or his treatment following the initial surgery.

Medical malpractice occurs whenever a health care professional fails to adhere to a reasonable standard of care and a patient is injured. In the State of New Mexico, medical malpractice cases are often difficult to prove. In addition, whether or not your health care provider is a member of the New Mexico Patient Compensation Fund can have an effect on your ability to file a malpractice claim. If you were hurt by a doctor, nurse, physician’s assistant, dentist, pharmacist, or someone else tasked with providing medical care, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

If you or a loved one was hurt by a medical provider, do not hesitate to call the Fine Law Firm at (505) 889-3463. Our skilled Santa Fe medical malpractice attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience zealously assisting the victims of unexpected injuries receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation with a hardworking personal injury lawyer today, please contact the Fine Law Firm through our website.

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Additional Resources:

Surgical patient seeks damages for alleged malpractice, by Phaedra Haywood, The Santa Fe New Mexican

Attorney in malpractice case argues that St. Vincent nurses should have noticed patient’s worsening condition, by Phaedra Haywood, The Santa Fe New Mexican