Enloe owes family $3 million

Jury finds hospital’s negligence led to patient’s death

A jury Monday (Dec. 19) ruled Enloe Medical Center’s negligence led to a patient’s death and the hospital must pay the family $3 million, according to an Enterprise-Record report.

The malpractice lawsuit related to the death of Todd Stewart in January 2009. Stewart had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator device, and a recall by the manufacturer prompted his doctor to recommend it be taken out, his family’s lawyer, William Callaham, explained by phone. A complication in that procedure resulted in internal bleeding that killed him.

“We criticized Enloe’s lack of preparation to take care of a patient in the event that complication occurred,” Callaham said. Stewart was over-sedated with the wrong sedative, there was no surgeon on hand (one was called in from home but arrived too late), and doctors didn’t notice the complication until it was too late.

Enloe CEO Mike Wiltermood told the E-R that he was surprised by the decision and that the hospital had investigated the incident and was confident staff performed well.