Pana Schafer, 36, died July 6, 2006, after being taken to the hospital.
The 12-member jury, after a two-week trial in Butte district court, ruled Friday that the plaintiffs should be awarded $1 million from the hospital for economic loss due to Schafer’s death and $880,000 to her heirs for non-economic losses.
A phone message left with St. James seeking comment Monday wasn’t returned by deadline.
The jury also found physician Patrick McGree and Rocky Mountain Clinic weren’t negligent in Schafer’s death.
In March 2009, Jean Dinsmore and Thomas Schafer filed a lawsuit against the Butte hospital, McGree and Rocky Mountain Clinic, claiming negligence in Pana Schafer’s death. The complaint states that Schafer was taken to the Rocky Mountain Clinic with a sudden illness on July 6, 2006, where she was treated by McGree. She was then treated at St. James Healthcare, where she died that day, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims the hospital failed to identify the severity of Schafer’s illness when she was treated and didn’t initiate the appropriate treatment while she was there.
She was diagnosed with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura , or TTP, an extremely rare blood disorder. Court documents state that TTP has an occurrence rate of 1 to 10 cases per million.
The hospital contended that by the time Schafer reached the hospital, the disease advanced beyond the point that it could be stopped or reversed, according to court documents.
District Judge Ray Dayton presided over the trial.
Calvin Stacey of Billings represented the plaintiffs. Gary Kalkstein of Missoula represented McGree and Rocky Mountain Clinic. St. James Healthcare was represented by Lee Bruner of Butte.
Source : billingsgazette