Lisa Zenzen Baker, 1961-2003


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Restricted info

Legal papers contain only brief
details of Troy attorney’s cases

By David Baker
Posted Nov. 19, 2014
346 words

Two lawsuits filed this year by Troy attorney E. Stewart Jones against Samaritan Hospital, St. Peter’s Health Partners – and in one of them, also a doctor – each allege that a patient was injured.

In both cases, Jones filed only a summons with notice rather than a complaint, as is done with most filings. A complaint usually sets out in detail the alleged facts of the claim; a notice gives only a brief summery of the case.

One reason for doing this could be to reduce the detail that can be published, thus protecting the defendants in his cases from unwelcome publicity. Jones appears to have started the practice soon after details of a claim by the estate of R. Alec McKenzie appeared here.

McKenzie, who was 81, died in Samaritan Hospital in 2004 after his blood glucose level was recorded in a hospital chart as 37 mg/dL; at 60 mg/dL or less a patient is hypoglycemic, at risk of becoming unconscious. Untreated, the condition can cause catastrophic organ damage and death.

The case was settled, after prolonged litigation, for $125,000.

With the area’s media ignoring lawsuits filed against advertisers, until details of them began appearing here there was no reason to withhold specifies of alleged malpractice.

Another reason could be an attempt to avoid protracted litigation. Settle early before motions – which often include copies of documents not previously filed – are served and again, damaging details remain unavailable for posting on this page.

The first of two claims filed by Jones this year with only a notice names as defendants physician Edward Hannan, Samaritan, Hospital, Northeast Health Troy Medical Group and St. Peter’s Health Partners. “The injuries, harm, damages and loss arose  from negligence which occurred at Samaritan Hospital during Mr. Calin’s hospitalization, including February 11, 2013 during hernia surgery performed upon the plaintiff,” the brief notice attached to the summons says.

In another claim, filed by Jones in October, Nicole Matala is suing Samaritan Hospital, Northeast Health and St. Peter’s Health Partners, alleging that a delay in diagnosing and treating her appendicitis caused her to receive “serious and permanent injures, consequences, pain, suffering, harm and damages.”

Information on who is representing the defendants in these two cases was not available in court records at the time the files were obtained.