Developments in Medical Malpractice Suit Filed by Deceased NFL Player’s Children

Developments in Medical Malpractice Suit Filed by Deceased NFL Player's ChildrenA medical malpractice lawsuit filed by the children of the late William Parks, a former player for several teams of the National Football League (NFL) from Honolulu, Hawaii, has experienced a development potentially detrimental to the plaintiffs. According to Courthouse News, the children will not be permitted to characterize the defendant, Robert Watkins, M.D., as a negligent medical professional.

The news source reports that although Watkins, who had provided medical care for Parks for two decades, had been found to be "actionably negligent" in his treatment, his children cannot mention this in their suit. The judge overseeing the suit, U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Molloway, claimed that any mention of the panel providing Watkins's judgment of negligence, the Medical Claim Conciliation Panel (MCCP), would violate the MCCP's confidentiality.

William Parks enjoyed a distinguished professional football career, as a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers and Houston Oilers throughout the 1970s. After his time in the NFL, Parks worked as a carpenter, and provided pro bono services to Watkins in return for the doctor's medical care. He died at the age of 61, of metastatic melanoma, a type of cancer that had first affected his skin and eventually spread to his liver.

Parks' children, Bogart Mumford Parks and Chiya Nicole Parks, have filed their suit based on their belief that Watkins allegedly ignored an indication of skin cancer, that first came in the form of a mole on Parks' back. The children claim that Watkins refused to have the removed mole biopsied as a way of avoiding the costs of the necessary medical tests, in spite of Parks's family history of cancer diagnoses.

According to the text of the complaint filed by Parks' son and daughter, Watkins is alleged to have maintained no medical records regarding the late NFL star, who was his unofficial patient, and failed to document any evidence that he advised Parks in any form whatsoever regarding Parks' condition.

The children facilitated a hearing by the MCCP, who allegedly concluded that Watkins had acted in an unprofessional and negligent manner. Judge Molloway ruled that due to their confidentiality, the findings of the hearing could not be used by the plaintiffs to potentially influence jurors toward their cause in an unfair manner.

William Parks, better known as Billy Parks during his NFL career, was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Long Beach State University in 1986 for his distinguished performances during his college career.