A Wyoming surgeon and the hospital that employed him are being sued by over 20 former patients who allege that the surgeon’s medical negligence caused them harm. The hospital is alleged to have been negligent in providing the surgeon medical credentials and by dragging its feet in suspending the surgeon after receiving numerous complaints regarding the surgeon over the years, and in light of the surgeon’s higher rate of surgical complications and allegations that the surgeon performed surgeries outside of his surgical expertise.
Two former patients of the surgeon filed medical malpractice claims against the surgeon and the hospital in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and reportedly settled their Wyoming medical malpractice claims in 2015 (the settlement terms were confidential).
Twenty of the surgeon’s former patients filed medical malpractice claims against the surgeon and the hospital between August 2014 and March 2016. Those Wyoming medical malpractice plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $70 million. The hospital’s potential financial exposure due to its surgeon’s alleged medical negligence has resulted in one of the hospital’s medical malpractice insurance companies filing a federal lawsuit seeking a ruling that it is not responsible to defend the hospital because the hospital failed to disclose its potential liability from claims against the surgeon before the medical malpractice insurance policy took effect. Another medical malpractice insurance company that issued a policy to the hospital for a subsequent policy period is also seeking a ruling that it is not responsible for claims against the surgeon and the hospital.
The Wyoming hospital did not suspend the surgeon for patient safety concerns until November 2013. The surgeon resigned from the hospital a few months after he was suspended.
The financial stress and fallout from the Wyoming medical malpractice lawsuits arising out of the surgeon’s activities while at the hospital have resulted in the hospital recently filing a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. In a press release regarding its Chapter 11 filing, the hospital’s Board of Directors stated, in part: “Chapter 11 is a necessary process for PVHC in order to effectively address and resolve the flood of litigation and personal injury claims recently made against PVHC and Dr. Hansen, who was employed several years ago at PVHC. There are approximately 20 claims which are either lawsuits or in the filing process which have been asserted against Dr. Hansen and PVHC … The Chapter 11 case will allow PVHC to propose and negotiate a plan of reorganization with the personal injury creditors and to deal with Homeland Insurance and Utah Medical Insurance, Inc. which have also filed lawsuits against PVHC, claiming they have no obligation to defend or cover the many underlying lawsuits.”
If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury (or worse) due to hospital malpractice in Wyoming or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a hospital malpractice lawyer in Wyoming or a hospital malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your hospital malpractice claim for you and represent you in a hospital medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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