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Medical malpractice case goes to trial

New Mexico residents may be aware of some cases of alleged malpractice by a doctor at the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamagordo. The allegations have led to the closing of the nonprofit hospital after an overwhelming amount of malpractice claims stemming from the doctor's use of experimental, unwarranted back surgeries. Although the questionable practices began with the doctor's hiring in 2006 and continued until he left the hospital, the case has only recently come to trial.

A national health care management company, Quorum Health Resources, managed the medical center and provided the top executives. The legal representatives for the 71 plaintiffs filing suit assert that Quorum did not provide proper oversight in hiring or supervision, allowing the doctor to perform procedures that were not approved by the FDA and allegedly did not help the patients.

It is believed that the motive for this medical negligence might have been the profitability of the procedure. The counsel for the plaintiffs asserts that the doctor quit his job at the hospital after learning that the procedures he was carrying out were not profitable enough. The attorneys for the defense claim that they were not alerted to the questionable procedures and cannot be held responsible. The plaintiffs reached a partial settlement in 2012 for $33 million with several different parties, but the case against Quorum continued.

New Mexico residents who have been injured by an incorrect or unsuitable medical procedure may have the right to seek legal recourse. The assistance of an attorney can be of use to those who wish to explore the circumstances under which they were injured so as to assign liability to responsible parties and collect compensation for their injury.

Source: Albuquerque Journal, "Trial gets underway in botched surgeries case", Colleen Heild, September 03, 2014

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