$43.33 Million Jury Verdict for Hospital’s Failure to Prevent Medical Practice by Physician Who Lacked Privileges

Billy Pierce, 61, was admitted to East Texas Medical Center complaining of stomach pain and vomiting. Gastroenterologist Dr. Gary Boyd diagnosed bile duct stones, acute pancreatitis and cholangitis. Pierce developed sepsis and multi-organ failure. Another gastroenterologist evaluated Pierce and removed his bile duct stones. Pierce recovered after this surgical procedure but subsequently developed worsened cholangitis, which necessitated a liver transplant.

Pierce had been a senior vice president of a chemical company and was earning $900,000 per year, but he is now unable to work.

Pierce sued the hospital, Dr. Boyd and two other treating gastroenterologists. He alleged that the hospital negligently allowed Dr. Boyd to practice when the state medical board had suspended his medical privileges and that Dr. Boyd chose not to remove the bile duct stones, which led to sepsis and the multi-organ failure.

Pierce asserted that Dr. Boyd had incorrectly determined that the bile duct stones could not be removed because of diverticula in the small intestine and then abandoned Pierce for over a month.

The doctor settled confidentially before trial. The jury signed a verdict for more than $43.33 million apportioning liability at 90 percent to the hospital and 10 percent to Dr. Boyd. Under a high-low agreement that the parties’ attorneys agreed to before the verdict, the hospital’s insured paid $9 million.

The attorneys who handled this tragic case were Reid William Martin, John Walker, Marisa Schouten and Kirk Pittard.

At the trial, Pierce’s attorneys presented experts in economics, life care planning and hospital administration.

Pierce v. East Texas Medical Center, No. 16-0853-C (Tex. Dist. Ct. Smith County).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence lawsuits, hospital negligence cases, physician negligence lawsuits, birth injury lawsuits and brain injury cases for individuals, families and loved ones who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Oak Park, Forest Park, Schiller Park, Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs, Wheaton, Geneva, St. Charles, Crystal Lake, Gurnee, Round Lake Beach, Calumet City, Blue Island, Chicago (Little Village, Austin, Galewood, Belmont Heights, Ravenswood, Andersonville, Edgewater, Lakeview, Gold Coast, Near North, Near South, Oakland, Jackson Park, South Chicago, Pill Hill, Roseland), Burbank, Brookfield, Maywood and Melrose Park, Ill.

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