Hospital and orthopedic surgeon share responsibility for $6.3million verdict, court rules

A federal court has ruled that the Prince George Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland, was set to obtain a $6.3 million medical malpractice verdict with an orthopedic ER surgeon who operated as an independent contractor in the establishment, The Maryland Daily Record reported August 8.

Lawyers for Prince George’s argued the hospital should not be held liable because the surgeon, Montague Blundon, MD, was not a hospital employee when he was found negligent for delaying treatment of the leg of a car accident victim, which was later amputated. The patient suffered vascular, bone and muscle damage after the accident and reportedly waited more than four hours in the emergency room before being seen by Dr Blundon, the orthopedic surgeon on call.

According to the lawsuit, Dr Blundon failed to properly treat the patient’s compound fracture, which was noticed three days later when another surgeon performed surgery to try to save his leg, but found that too much great deterioration had occurred.

The hospital was initially not allowed to share responsibility for the verdict because Dr Blundon was an independent contractor, but an appeals court overturned the lower court’s decision.

In a 5-2 decision in July, the appeals court ruled that Prince George’s liability “does not rest on his contractual relationship with the surgeon” but on the patient’s reasonable perception that the doctor was acting at the request of the surgeon. ‘hospital’, according to the Daily recording.

According to court documents, the verdict against the hospital and Dr. Blundon included the following economic damages: $5 million for attendant care; $550,000 for prosthetic leg costs; $210,857 for durable medical equipment; and $165,000 for case management.

Prince George’s and Dr Blundon have denied the malpractice allegations, the outlet said.