Jury Finds Texas Hospital and Doctor Liable for Medical Malpractice; Patient Awarded $43 Million

According to research conducted by John Hopkins University, 10 to 15 percent of the United States adult population have gallstone disease and around 800,000 operations are performed each year. The majority of patients suffering from gallstones do not require surgery, but the procedure is very common and statistically very safe. Billy Pierce, who is now 61, underwent a CT scan in April 2014 because of an intense pain in his abdomen. He was quickly diagnosed with gallstones and told that he would need surgery.

Pierce was transferred to the care of Dr. Gary Boyd at the East Texas Medical Center, located in Tyler, TX. And according to a 2016 medical malpractice lawsuit, filed on behalf of Pierce, Boyd should not have been seeing any patients because he was placed on probation by the Texas Medical Board for misdiagnoses and unneeded treatments. Pierce’s attorneys claimed in court that because of the alleged negligence of Boyd, their client was unnecessarily left in a medically induced coma for more than a month.

Medical records show that Boyd diagnosed Pierce with an “anatomical abnormality” that would prevent him from performing the surgery. The lawsuit claims that Pierce was then left in a coma for no apparent reason for more than 30 days. Another doctor at the hospital was finally asked to examine Pierce and found no abnormality, then immediately operated successfully. But the prolonged medically induced coma caused complications that required an emergency liver transplant. In an unusual twist, doctors at the hospital testified on behalf of Pierce.

After hearing testimony from the defendant and plaintiff, a Texas jury found in favor of Pierce. The jury awarded the plaintiff $43.3 million in damages, but due to an agreement before the verdict was announced the award will be capped. Just before the jury announced their decision, Pierce entered into a high/low agreement, which stipulated that he would receive no less than $4 million and no more than $9 million. The agreement also prevents the hospital from appealing the ruling and stipulates that they must pay within 30 days of the verdict.

Frequently Asked Questions

25 aug
Can Patients File Malpractice Lawsuits For A Respiratory Misdiagnosis?

Respiratory misdiagnosis is a serious situation. The term “respiratory” pertains to the patient’s lungs. The lungs take in necessary oxygen for the rest of the body to function properly. Without an adequate amount of oxygen, the patient may experience a wide variety of problems in everyday life. Lack of oxygen can make it difficult to

Read More
How Can I Afford to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney to Represent Me?
29 mar
How Can I Afford to Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney to Represent Me?

As a victim of medical malpractice, you are eligible for compensation to cover your economic and non-economic losses. According to research from 2013, the average malpractice jury award exceeds $1 million, and the average out-of-court settlement is $425,000. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you pursue the compensation that is available to you. But how

Read More