Norton Rose Fulbright obtains defense verdict for CHRISTUS Health in wrongful death trial

Business November 2015

A Norton Rose Fulbright life sciences and healthcare litigation team prevailed in a jury trial for client CHRISTUS Health in a wrongful death action. After a short deliberation, the jury returned a finding of no negligence, completely exonerating the hospital.

Kevin Yankowsky, the partner in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Houston office who led the trial team, said:

“We are pleased that the jury viewed this tragic event from our client’s perspective. We always maintained that the care provided at CHRISTUS St. Michael was compassionate and appropriate, and the jury’s verdict affirmed our position.”

The lawsuit, brought by the deceased patient’s widow and two adult children, was based upon treatment following the surgical repair of the patient’s broken jaw at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas.

Plaintiffs requested over US$1 million in compensatory damages from the jury.

The defense argued that the care was appropriate and prudent and that the patient (who was a diabetic, heavy smoker and had suffered prior strokes) most likely suffered a primary cardiac event, which caused his death.

Richard Krumholz, US head of dispute resolution and litigation for Norton Rose Fulbright, commented:

“Our firm has a long tradition of representing hospitals and other healthcare providers in challenging circumstances. We are very proud of the results we are able to obtain for our clients in a wide range of healthcare disputes.”

The case was tried in the 202nd Judicial District Court of Bowie County Texas before the Honorable Leon Pesek, Jr.

The Norton Rose Fulbright trial team was comprised of Yankowsky and associate Katharine Larson. Associates Jaqueline McMillan and Caitlin Chambers also played significant roles in the successful defense of this case.