Mercy Hospital will have 26 years to pay out more than $12.8 million in a medical malpractice judgment originally awarded by a Franklin County jury last fall, when Vincent Lowe, 55, Union, was awarded medical negligence damages against two Mercy doctors and two hospital subsidiaries.
The amended judgment signed by Associate Circuit Judge Stanley Williams last Friday, states Lowe will receive a total of $12,820,990 for past economic damages, past noneconomic damages, future medical damages and future noneconomic damages.
According to court documents, Mercy has been given a periodic payment schedule applying a 10 percent reduction to each category as awarded.
Past economic damages of $1,570,990, and $900,000 in past noneconomic damages, will be paid immediately.
Additionally, $900,000 in future noneconomic damages will be split into two payments of $450,000 each paid on an annual basis.
Year one began Nov. 3, 2017, and year two will begin Nov. 3, 2018.
The largest sum of $9,450,000 in future medical damages will be paid to Lowe in periodic installments as well.
He will receive $988,134 immediately, $778,638 each year for years two through five and $707,486 per year for years six through 10.
At year 11, the annual payments will drop to $113,117 annually until the award is fully paid at year 26.
As part of the amended judgment, Lowe’s attorneys argued his life expectancy was an additional 25.7 years and they provided evidence of his future medical needs and resulting future medical expenses.
The evidence at trial indicated Lowe’s normal life expectancy could be reduced by the potential complications arising from his special health needs. This convinced the court to have the payments paid out over a shorter time frame.
The judgment states Dr. Bryan Menges, D.O., and Mercy Hospitals East Communities will be responsible for $9,259,604, or 65 percent of the total judgment.
Dr. James Cassat, M.D., and Mercy Clinic East Communities will be responsible for $3,561,386, or 25 percent of the settlement.
Lowe’s 10 percent fault of $1,424,554 was subtracted from the original $14.2 million award.
The jury trial was conducted between Oct. 30 and Nov. 3.
The malpractice case originally was filed in March 2016 and the alleged incident occurred in April 2014.
Lowe’s request for post judgment interest of an additional $3.3 million was denied citing a Missouri Supreme Court case.
In his original complaint, Lowe contended the Mercy Clinic East Communities accepted him for the purpose of providing medical, surgical, emergency treatment and services to him. But instead Mercy’s agents, employees and staff breached those duties in the following particulars:
• Failed to properly and timely evaluate, consider and treat portal gas and atherosclerosis on April 30.
• Failed to order proper surgical consultation.
• Failed to properly diagnose, perform surgical consultation and examination.
• Failed to admit Lowe to hospital for observation, additional testing, consultations and treatment.
• Failed to timely transfer Lowe to higher level of care and instead negligently discharged him home.
• Failed to properly consider diagnoses found on CT scan.