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Jury Awards $1.38 Million Verdict In Anniston Malpractice Case

Hospital Accused Of Failing To Perform Proper Blood Tests On Surgical Patient

Sep 16, 2003 | AP

A jury awarded nearly $1.38 million to the family of a 77-year-old Jacksonville man who died at Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center while recovering from surgery for lung cancer.

The jury returned the medical malpractice verdict against the Anniston hospital and a former Anniston physician, Dr. Robert David Boles, after deliberating more than four hours Friday night.

The lawsuit accused the hospital of failing to perform the proper blood tests to determine how much anticoagulant to give Burl Herman Parris after his surgery. The medication was intended to prevent blood clots from forming, but plaintiffs' attorneys said too much was administered, causing hemorrhaging and eventually death.

Court records show Parris died Sept. 6, 1998, from gastrointestinal bleeding.

On Monday, attorneys for Boles and the hospital told The Anniston Star their clients weren't at fault for the death of Parris.

"We are very disappointed," said Boles' attorney, Robert Sellers. "We felt like the evidence was that Dr. Boles provided good and reasonable care given the information he had at the time of the death, and the death was not of his causing or his fault."

Sellers said he and Boles, who now practices medicine in Hartselle, are considering their post-trial options.

The hospital admitted it failed to conduct the proper lab work, but defense attorneys denied the failure contributed to Parris' death.

"In my opinion, there was no negligence on the part of any nurse or other employee of RMC that caused Mr. Burl Parris' death," said hospital attorney Robert Parsons. "If there was any negligence or failure, it did not contribute to cause his death."

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