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Man Becomes Quadriplegic After Discharge From Baylor Medical Center

DALLAS --- March 5, 2001 --- Miller Weisbrod, LLP, a Texas law firm that specializes in medical malpractice litigation, has filed suit today on behalf of the Millichamp family against Baylor University Medical Center, a group of Dallas emergency room doctors, a radiologist group and a nurse in the March 1999 diagnosis of John Edward Millichamp, III.

Acting on behalf of Mr. Millichamp, his children and his parents, Miller Weisbrod, LLP and Jerry McCombs, an attorney from Idabell, OK, will file suit in District Court of Dallas County on Monday, March 5. The defendants are Baylor University Medical Center; David J. Mendelson, M.D.; Michael J. Smerud, M.D.; Anthony C. Toppins, M.D.; Jane Doe, R.N.; Emergency Health Services Associates; Laidlaw Transportation, Inc., owner of Emcare Holdings, Inc.; American Radiology Network, Ltd. and American Radiology Associates f/k/a Reformed Radiology, P.A.

The medical malpractice suit alleges that the defendants were grossly negligent in their failure to timely and properly diagnose and treat Mr. Millichamp's fractured neck, despite radiological evidence of a cervical spine injury at C-6 and C-7 and continued complaints of numbness and tingling by the patient.

Les Weisbrod, managing partner of Miller Weisbrod, LLP, said, "Mr. Millichamp was told to walk out of the emergency room with a fractured neck which has resulted in him being a quadriplegic."

The suit seeks $100 million in actual and punitive damages as well as monetary compensation for the pain and suffering of Mr. Millichamp and his family.

Les Weisbrod, managing partner at Miller Weisbrod, LLP, believes this will be one of the largest medical malpractice cases filed against Baylor University Medical Center. It will take millions of dollars to provide for Mr. Millichamp's care and to compensate him for his pain and suffering. Following a motor vehicle accident in March 1999, Mr. Millichamp was transported to the emergency Room at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas with a large bruise on his forehead and complaints of tingling pins and needles in both hands as well as shoulder pain. X-rays taken at Baylor were reported negative by Dr. Smerud, the radiologist, and/or Dr. Toppins, the radiology resident, although the evaluation of his spine was incomplete.

Although Dr. Mendelson, the emergency room physician, did not determine whether the diagnostic imaging studies were complete, he ordered Mr. Millichamp discharged. However, due to continued complaints by the patient, Mendelson ordered a CT scan limited to the upper cervical spine. Apparently, the results of this study were misinterpreted or miscommunicated between the radiologist, the radiology resident and the emergency room physician.

Despite ongoing complaints to the nursing staff, Mr. Millichamp was discharged ambulatory. Upon walking from the emergency room, Mr. Millichamp complained that he could not feel his feet and legs and collapsed. He was diagnosed with a spinal injury at C-6 and C-7. He is now a quadriplegic.

"While pre-suit settlement offers have been made to this family, nothing has been offered by Baylor, who refuses to accept responsibility for the radiologist, ER physicians and nurses working in the hospital. The amount offered has been totally inadequate. The public does not realize that when Baylor contracts with other companies for ER doctors and radiologists, Baylor refuses to accept liability for the conduct of those doctors and entities. Anyone having a relative treated in the emergency room should make sure they do not walk out when they are still in pain even if the doctors and nurses are trying to force the patient out the door," said Mr. Weisbrod.