Medical Malpractice Suit by Doctor’s Estate can Continue, Says Court

Medical Malpractice Suit by Doctor's Estate can Continue, Says CourtThe Court of Appeals in Yakima, Washington, has allowed a medical malpractice lawsuit to continue against a local hospital, even though the case was dismissed by another judge two years ago, the Yakima Herald-Republic reports.

Dr. Sandra Wilson, an internist at Sunnyside Community Hospital, passed away in 2006 at the age of 35. The lawsuit, brought on by the doctor's estate, claims that an emergency room physician at the hospital was negligent in treating her brain condition with migraine medicine, which allegedly made the problem worse, leading to her untimely death.

Wilson's father, as a representative of her estate, originally filed the suit against the physician, Dr. Terri Grant, and the hospital. The aim was to make up for lost wages and to pay for the resulting medical bills. Her father also hoped to be compensated for pain and suffering.

However, Superior Court Judge James Lust sided with Grant and the hospital in 2009, dismissing the suit because Wilson's estate would not go to a surviving beneficiary recognized by law. Wilson wasn't married and had no children or other dependents.

On July 19, the Washington Court of Appeals brought the case back to life, stating that a jury should be the body to decide if Wilson's estate is entitled to damages. The court backed part of the 2009 decision by Lust, agreeing that Wilson's father was not eligible for pain and suffering payments.

The Washington lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar case in Elkin, North Carolina, in which a doctor and a hospital are facing a medical malpractice suit, according to the Mount Airy News. A lawsuit has been filed against Dr. Peter F. McIlveen and the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital claiming negligence in the death of Kelly Casstevens Jarvis after giving birth in 2009. The lawsuit is by the woman's estate. The 31-year-old's bowel was allegedly severed by Dr. McIlveen.