Paraplegic Man Receives $5 Million Judgment

Attorney Dev Sethi Wins Case Against Oro Valley Hospital

In a recent medical malpractice case, Attorney Dev Sethi of Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC has won a $5 million judgment for a claim against Oro Valley Hospital in Oro Valley, Arizona. The claim was filed by Mike Beatty who, after being allowed to leave the hospital under the influence of morphine, suffering a fall that resulted in paraplegia.

Mike Beatty's Story

Late at night on December 12, 2007, Mr. Beatty began experiencing severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting after working a 14-hour day as executive general manager of a local Applebee's. He decided to get medical treatment when the symptoms did not improve. His wife drove him to the hospital and told the admitting nurse to contact her as needed, as stated in court documents.

Mr. Beatty underwent an ultrasound that revealed kidney stones and was treated with Toradol, Reglan, and morphine. He called his wife to pick him up, telling her he would begin walking home and watch for her car as he went. Records say that she told him to stay at the hospital until she arrived, but Beatty instead signed the hospital release papers and walked out unattended at 2:41 a.m. on December 13. Hospital officials say they believed Mr. Beatty was leaving with his wife, although she was not with him when he left.

Allowed to Leave in a Drug-Impaired State

While walking down the road in the dark, a car went by that Mr. Beatty believed was his wife. He turned around and began walking back to the hospital, hoping to meet up with her in the parking lot. What he did not realize in the dark was that he was on a bridge spanning a dry wash. According to his attorney, Dev Sethi, Mr. Beatty was in a "drug-induced stupor" when he climbed over a three-foot wall to access what he believed would be a shortcut back to the hospital. Instead, he fell 15 to 20 feet into the wash.

Mr. Beatty lay at the bottom of the wash for several hours before a passerby heard him calling out after dawn. In the meantime, his wife had been driving back and forth along Tangerine Road, contacting both the hospital and police in an effort to locate her husband. Mr. Beatty's fall resulted in a broken spine and he is now a paraplegic. His wife is now the sole source of income, as Mr. Beatty is unable to return to work.

Results of the Court Case & Medical Malpractice Judgment

Mr. Beatty retained Dev Sethi of Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC to represent him in a claim and resulting court case against Oro Valley Hospital (OVH) for negligence. According to Sethi, OVH officials demonstrated negligence when they allowed Mr. Beatty to leave the emergency room unattended while under the influence of a narcotic drug. Sethi argued that it is a hospital's responsibility to ensure that a drug-impaired patient is accompanied by someone when they leave.

In 2011, a trial ended with the jury finding OVH liable for Mr. Beatty's injuries. A second trial was scheduled for the summer of 2012, but the hospital waived its right to an appeal and instead agreed to a $5 million judgment. Mr. Beatty agreed to the payout on two conditions: that the hospital accept responsibility and that payout be made public.

The fact that the judgment was made public is considered to be highly unusual, since most payouts for patient safety include a "gag order" so that there no public record of the private settlement. Mr. Beatty's judgment is also abnormal in that the hospital was found negligent. Most medical malpractice cases are successfully defended by the hospital or doctor against which the claim has been made, but Mr. Beatty's case has resulted in the opposite. He has received a $5 million judgment that he hopes will not only compensated for his financial damages and severely altered lifestyle, but will also result in improved patient safety.

Hire a Tucson Personal Injury Attorney for Your Claim

Attorney Dev Sethi has represented numerous clients in successful medical malpractice claims in the Tucson area. At Kinerk, Schmidt & Sethi, PLLC, we are dedicated to obtaining outstanding results for personal injury cases of all kinds. Our partners have each recovered multi-million-dollar judgments such as Sethi won for Mr. Beatty. Each of them is also AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and has been included in Arizona Super Lawyers®, among numerous other accolades. If you are in need of aggressive representation for a claim, schedule your free case evaluation right away. Contact us for the counsel and representation you need to win a fair settlement or judgment!

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