Court throws out $600,000.00 wrongful death verdict against St. John health system
The family of Dorothy Kubacki sued St. John Hospital, arguing that an intern and other employees violated the applicable standard of care in failing to respond to Dorothy's EKG demonstrating a "cardiac event." The family dismissed some of the individual defendants and secured a verdict against the hospital based on the family's expert testimony that earlier intervention in response to her dangerous EKG finding would have saved her life. The EKG was performed early during her three day hospitalization; she died on the third day.
The Hospital appealed the verdict. The trial judge found it to be consistent with the great weight of the evidence and upheld it. The Hospital then appealed to the Court of Appeals, which overturned the verdict. The judges in the appellate court ruled that the testimony of the family's experts was not adequate to prove that negligence by the hospital intern and others caused Dorothy's death.