The front page headline in today’s Roanoke Times read, “LewisGale paid $1M to Settle Death Lawsuit.” I was interested in the article for two reasons.
First, my law firm handles medical malpractice cases in Virginia and are currently suing, and have sued, Lewis Gale Medical Center, an Hospital Corporation of America hospital, and its affiliates. Those affiliated hospitals include LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, and LewisGale Hospital Pulaski. These HCA hospitals are well-run “for-profit” hospitals but just “Google” lawsuits against HCA and you will be amazed at what you find. Decide for yourself whether these facilities routinely provide above average healthcare.
The second reason I was interested in the reported settlement is because I knew Seth Williamson, the patient who died as a result of the negligence of the nursing staff at LewisGale Medical Center in Salem, Virginia. Seth was a graduate teaching assistant at Virginia Tech many years ago. As a political science and history major at Virginia Tech in the late 70’s, I had the good fortune of taking several history classes for which Seth served as the graduate assistant. He was a generous and bright man with a very broad range of interests. We ran across one another through the years and he was always the same – friendly, warm, and intellectually active. I am sad for his two daughter but happy the “legal system” held the hospital accountable for an unnecessary and preventable death.