A Franklin County jury has awarded Vincent Lowe, 55, Union, more than $14.2 million in medical negligence damages against two Mercy doctors and two hospital subsidiaries.
The 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.
In a statement released Monday, Mercy Hospital said they empathize with Mr. Lowe’s situation and their prayers are with him and his family. They also believe the that all care provided was medically appropriate and correct.
Mercy Hospital Washington President Eric Eoloff says Mercy stands by its doctors, their interventions and procedures.
“Mercy believes our physicians named in the suit followed the standard of care and made proper recommendations to the patient that were not followed,” Eoloff said. “Although we feel badly for Mr. Lowe’s situation, we will be appealing the jury’s decision.”
Mercy doctors, James Cassat and Bryan Menges, were defendants in the case as well as Mercy Clinic East Communities and Mercy Hospitals East Communities.
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.
Mr. 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 was originally filed in March 2016 and the alleged incident occurred in April 2014.
According to court documents, Mr. Lowe presented Mercy Hospital Washington emergency department with abdominal pain April 30, 2014.
A CT scan was of the abdomen and pelvis was performed and showed portal gas and atherosclerosis.
During that same time, Drs. Cassat and Menges consulted on the telephone and recommended an outpatient ultrasound.
On May 1, Lowe was discharged home with prescriptions for pain medication.
On May 4, Lowe returned to Mercy Washington with continued abdominal pain.
At that time he was diagnosed with mesentric ischemia and was emergently transferred to Mercy Hospital St. Louis for emergency surgery including SMA bypass graft and bowel resection.
In his 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.
The complaint continues that as a result of the doctors and hospital negligence, Lowe was required to undergo multiple surgeries to treat his condition, leading to the need for ongoing medical care including hours of intravenous fluids and total parenteral nutrition into the future.
He is now permanently disfigured and has suffered alleged mental and emotional fear and anguish. Lowe has suffered permanent irreversible injury, great pain and suffering and will continue to require extensive medical, surgical, hospital, nursing, therapeutic and rehabilitative care and treatment into the future.